16 Years Covering The Search Industry

Dec 2, 2019 - 8:00 am 46 by

16th Anniversary of Search Engine Roundtable

Today is the 16th anniversary of this website, the Search Engine Roundtable., and thus my sweet 16 for writing about search, SEO and of course Google. It is hard to imagine I've been writing about this topic for so long and still, every day, find a handful of things to cover and share with the devoted and valued readers here.

Video Summary:

16 Years Of Passion:

I try incredibly hard to be consistent with my coverage, despite my travels or religious obligations. Yes, sometimes it gets tiring but honestly, this is a passion project of mine and I absolutely love writing and sharing tidbits about Google search, SEO and SEM topics. I started this site as a way to keep my notes on what the SEM/SEO community is talking about and that remains true to-date. Some of the forums may have come and gone, some new channels of where the community is may have been created over the years, but I try to highlight some of those discussions and bring them to a wider audience through this web site.

This year, I started a new series, a vlog - video blog. This is where I sit down, one-on-one, with real practitioners within the SEO and SEM industry and talk to them about what they do and how they do it and share it with you all. I've learned it not only helps those watching the videos, but it also helps a lot of those I interview find new clients, get new job opportunities and hopefully build their company and personal brands. So if you haven't, sign up to be interviewed, and when I hit your town, I will reach out. It is kind of similar to what I did with the thank an SEO series in 2018 but way cooler. :)

I still continue to publish several stories here a day and on Search Engine Land. I still produce my weekly video recaps, which I have been working on improving a lot lately. Don't forget about the fun daily photos and big monthly Google webmaster reports. These are all aimed to save you time, while catching you up on new topics and making you smile at the same time.

While last year I was honored with the US Search Personality ward, this year, Search Engine Land (a place I write) honored me with the outstanding community service award.

You can read last year's 15 year recap if you'd like.

Our Growth & Analytics:

I'll be honest, I am shocked - we are up 24% in traffic year-over-year according to Google Analytics. Specifically 23.99% up in users, 24.37% up in sessions and 22.40% in pageviews year-over-year. I didn't expect that and no, I really don't look at this stuff - I do look at real time analytics because I am curious what is going on after I publish something. I should note, last year I was up about 15%. Shocks me that more and more people are interested...

The channels sending me traffic changed; I am up 42% from last year with organic search traffic. referral traffic is up 21%, social only up 4%, but my direct traffic was down 3%. The other channels, like email and others are not significant. If you drill into organic search, I was up 45% with Google but down 42% with Bing and down 27% with Yahoo - what is wrong Bing!!!

Mobile traffic is now 45% of all my traffic, which is up about 5 points from last year. My US based traffic was up only 5%, but placed like India, UK, Canada, Germany, France and other regions were up a tremendous amount.

There are now over 28,500 stories on this site, of which, I wrote over 25,750 of them. I posted about 1,850 stories this year, just like last year - so I didn't write much more than last year. There are over 12,000 new comments on this site, ones I didn't delete or get caught by spam filters - which is up by about 1,000 comments compared to last year. I continue to try to make an effort to have clean comments that do not cross the line here.

With YouTube, my channel - please subscribe has over 2,500 new subscribers. I've been obviously making an effort to grow that channel. I have over 6 million views on those videos, with over 37,000 hours of watch time. Oh, and I made just under $900 in YouTube ad revenue in the past year, which is more than double of last year's revenue. Cha ching!

Most Important Stories In Past 12 Months:

Looking back at the year, I suspect Google and Bing would say its BERT integrations were the biggest deals. But for the SEO industry, they were not that big of a deal. It is hard to isolate one Google update that was massive, so check out the Google updates category, because we covered a lot of them. Google has been trying to be more transparent about updates, including core updates, freshness, original reporting and diversity. Evergreen GoogleBot and BingBot are here, but Bing is trying to get publishers to push it content, which is interesting.

There is a lot, I tried to go through the past year and share the most important stories (I am sure I missed things):

Search Algorithm Related:

Crawling & Indexing: SEO: Penalties: Google Search Console: Search Features: Search Ads: Misc:

Most Viewed Stories In Past 12 Months:

Here are the most viewed stories in the past 12 months of 2019 based on Google Analytics. I should note that my analytics does not combine AMP URLs with the canonical non AMP URL:

Most Viewed Videos In Past 12 Months:

Here are my top new videos in the past 12 months and which got the most views:

Looking Forward To 2020:

I am still gung-ho about voice search, it is super exciting to see the advancements there. Also the smart displays, that is going to be a lot of fun. Watching search in embedded devices from voice appliances and smart displays but even more, in your cars, refrigerators, ovens, as your clock or speakers, etc. Heck, integrating all of that with your light switches and IoT devices, it is super exciting to watch. Looking back at how much easier it is to do voice queries, how my kids even do it, talking to phones and machines - it is becoming so natural for people. We are at the verge of this really exploding and it has grown so much so fast already.

Also we have video features in YouTube and beyond, audio features with podcasts and even image features with 3D and AR images - all really interesting stuff. Bing's move to get publishers to push content and to see if Google will expand their indexing API.

So in summary, how search has come so far with understanding natural queries via voice and what search can do in 2020 to show those search results anywhere and anytime - I am looking forward to that.

Thank you:

As I said last year, I deeply appreciate and thank you all so much for reading every day, commenting (or ignoring the comments) and for sharing the stories here. Keep up the chatter and let's build an even better search community this coming year.

Thank you,

Barry Schwartz


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