2013 – A look back at the biggest news in SEO…
With 2014 almost upon us, many firms are looking towards the year ahead. But now is also a good time to look back at some of the biggest stories in SEO and marketing over the previous year, as most of these will inevitably continue to effect strategies in 2014 and beyond.
January – Facebook enters search
Facebook caused the first minor stir of the year by unveiling its ‘graph search’. This was effectively a semantic search engine that can access Facebook’s huge amount of data to provide user-specific answers to natural search queries, such as ‘friends who like fly fishing’. The feature was available to all US users by July, but rollout in the UK only began in November.
February – Website top priority for B2B firms
A survey by BtoB Magazine (http://www.btobonline.com/article/20130204/STRATEGY06/302019991/marketers-show-robust-optimism) found that 70% of B2B businesses would increase spending on website developments during the coming year.
May – Bing hints at dynamic page sizing
Dr Ronny Kohavi from Bing revealed that more than 50% of its users clicked the first result on the page when searching, with rapid drops in click through rates even by the 3rd placed result (6%). Kohavi also revealed that Bing was experimenting with dynamic page sizing, whereby some queries would return significantly fewer results per page.
May – Return of the Penguin
Google unveiled its latest update, Google Penguin 2.0, which was designed to root out webspam and black hat SEO tactics. Major areas targeted were keyword stuffing, paid link schemes and duplicate content.
June – SEO comes of age
2013 was a big year for search engine optimisation, as it was finally included in the Oxford English Dictionary. ‘Tweet’ also earned a place in the big book of words.
July – Big names adopt responsive design
Suzuki and Transport for London upgraded their websites to function with responsive design. Other big names making the switch in 2013 include Nikon and ITV.
October – Google unleashes Hummingbird
The latest big update to bother online marketers, Google Hummingbird signalled another move towards semantic search for the search giant, and towards an age in which search engines truly understand what users are searching for.