8 Years Covering The Search Industry

Dec 2, 2011 - 8:10 am 12 by

Search Engine Roundtable 8 Years LogoThis site has turned 8 years old today. 8 years ago, on December 2, 2003, I started this site to keep track of what I read and learned from around the search industry. It was always, and still is today, focused around the community and learning from within the community. That is still what sets this site apart from the others. This is what makes me proud to keep the site going. Thank you all for reading, participating and making this industry so great.


This year, we averaged over 500,000 pageviews per month, with about 300,000 unique visitors per month. We posted almost 2,000 stories, 50 video summaries and had over 14,000 real (not spam) comments over the year. Our traffic is almost twice as much as the year before, with page per visits increasing almost 30% and time spent on site up 14% and our bounce rate dropped almost 30%. These are all solid numbers from our redesign on December 1, 2010. A trend I am also seeing is mobile browsing is 5 percentage points, up by 220% year over year. Mobile OS statistics shows me that iOS is 62% of mobile usage, whereas Android is 31%, followed by SymbianOS at 3% and Blackberry at 1.5%. On the browser side, Chrome users jumped by 12 percentage points, Safari increased 2 percentage points, Firefox users dropped 7 percentage points, and IE users dropped 8 percentage points.


Like I have been doing for the past few years, I wanted to share the top topics and links to the most important stories that I've written here over the past year.

In 2010, it was about the Google May Day update, the Caffeine index, Google Instant results, social and real time search and Yahoo and Bing's migration plan. In 2011 it wasn't all that different.

2011 was about the Google Panda update, a stronger play on freshness in the search results, improved webmaster communication and more. Panda was and still is absolutely the largest topic of concern for Webmasters and SEOs in 2011. The freshness update hit after, but there is less concern about that. Google + was introduced this year and is probably Google's number one priority this and next year - it is everywhere on Google. Social is still important, but Google doesn't have a deal with Facebook or Twitter like Bing does, so their focus is more on Google +.

Also, Google has greatly improved Webmaster Tools, as did Bing, adding tons of more communication notifications. Google was also embarrassed time and time again, some examples include Overstock in the WSJ, JC Penney in the NY Times, Mother's Day link spam in NY Times, and locksmiths Google Maps spam in NY Times.

Yahoo's migration on organic search was completed this year, so they killed off Site Explorer. Google is forcing logged in searchers to SSL, killing off the search query referrer. Apple Siri is a possible new major threat to the search space.

Finally, Schmidt stepped down as CEO, replaced by co-founder Larry Page who has done a pretty good job. Yahoo's CEO meanwhile was fired, while Yahoo seeks some vision for the future.

That just touches on some of the major changes over 2011. Below is a categorized summary by headline of the most important topics I wrote this year. I hope I didn't miss any.

Thank you all so much for reading and making this site something I love to write at every day. Without you - there is no way I would have kept this up for 8 years. Thank you all!

Google Panda:

Google SEO/Webmaster:

Google PageRank:

Google Webmaster Reports:

Bing SEO/Webmaster:

Yahoo SEO/Webmaster:

Google Search:

Google +:


Google Maps:



Microsoft adCenter:

Search Business:

Search Industry:



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