This day in search marketing history: February 19
Google removes right sidebar ads, plus: Bing Webmaster tools refresh, YMYL ranking weights, hreflang notifications and more.
Google removes ads from right side of search results
In 2016, Google removed ads from the right side of its desktop search results (with two exceptions: Product Listing Ad boxes and Knowledge panel ads) in all languages, worldwide.
Google Ads would only appear at the top and/or bottom of the page.
An additional ad (so, four instead of three) would appear above Google’s organic search results for what it called “highly commercial queries.”
This was actually the culmination of a test that began in 2010 and ramped up significantly in 2015, mostly outside of the U.S.
Google’s official statement on the change:
“We’ve been testing this layout for a long time, so some people might see it on a very small number of commercial queries. We’ll continue to make tweaks, but this is designed for highly commercial queries where the layout is able to provide more relevant results for people searching and better performance for advertisers.”
Read all about it in Confirmed: Google To Stop Showing Ads On Right Side Of Desktop Search Results Worldwide.
Also on this day
Bing announces refreshed Bing Webmaster Tools
2020: The new toolset promised to offer a faster, cleaner, more responsive and even more actionable set of features.
Vast majority of Amazon advertisers plan to spend more on ads again this year
2020: Specialized Amazon marketers and paid search marketers were most likely to be managing campaigns on the platform, our survey found.
Video: Rhea Drysdale on hyperlocal SEO & saving clients money
2020: From running a small business to digging deep into SEO to help clients win.
Google may use different ranking weights for YMYL-type queries
2019: Google has confirmed that for Your Money, Your Life, queries they will give more weight in their ranking algorithm to factors around expertise, authoritativeness, or trustworthiness.
Google Actions vs. Alexa Skills is the next big App Store battle
2019: There were thousands of Skills and Actions but very few people were using them.
Google changes request recrawl limits, noting daily limits versus monthly quotas
2018: Google finally disclosed the new recrawl limits in a revised help document.
Google Maps adds mall directory search & browse in local panel
2018: Google added a new tab to the local panel in the search results named “directory.”
Google Chrome extensions bringing back ‘View Image’ & ‘Search by Image’ buttons in Google Image Search
2018: Google removed some much-loved features in image search, but some Chrome extensions bring back that functionality.
Keyword infringement: Edible Arrangements files $209M trademark suit against Google
2018: The central claim was that when users searched for [Edible Arrangements] (or versions of that name), they were seeing product ads for competitors, such as 1-800-Flowers.
Webmasters: Be On The Lookout For Hreflang Implementation Notifications From Google
2016: Google sent out a large number of notifications to webmasters who had incorrectly implemented hreflang markup.
Google App Streaming Now Live For Many Apps Via Try Now Button
2016: You could preview apps directly from the search results before downloading them.
Search In Pics: Brett Dennen At Google, A Doctor’s Google Sign & Google Moving Boxes
2016: The latest images showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have and more.
Google’s New Hacked Classifier Misclassifies Some Web Sites As Hacked
2015: Many websites noticed Google labeled their sites as being hacked and dangerous in the search results. The issue was not with their websites but rather the Google hacked sites classifier.
Google AdWords Launches An Android App For Advertisers But Currently Only For Canadians
2015: Canadian Google AdWords advertisers could download an Android app to manage their campaign on the go. Google promised to expand support to other countries soon.
Google News Bug Drops Trending Topics From Side Bar Navigation
2015: A fix was coming soon.
Google Mobile Search Put Publishers’ Content In Carousels
2015: Users could quickly scan topic-based content from single sources on mobile devices.
Bing Offers Link To Order Food Online From Your Favorite Restaurants
2015: You could search for a restaurant that offered online ordering and click the order online button.
Google’s Matt Cutts: Backlink Relevancy Is A Big Win In Terms Of Search Quality
2014: Cutts answers: “Is there a version of Google that excludes backlinks as a ranking factor?”
New Google Maps Comes Out Of Preview Today
2014: Overall, it was a more visually-compelling product than the old Maps with a wide array of enhanced features.
Google Was Nearly A Site That Allowed Users To Order Pizza Through A Fax Machine
2013: Sergey Brin explained how a single failed fax allowed Google to be born.
Bing Updates Friends’ Photos Search With Windows Tiles Layout & Slideshow View
2013: The changes included a new title-like layout you are familiar with when it comes to Windows 8 and a slideshow view for faster and richer photo viewing.
Burden Of Search UI Innovation Now Falls To Yahoo Veteran Laurie Mann
2013: Laurie Mann, who had been senior vice president of engineering operations at Yahoo since 2002, was promoted to run Yahoo Search.
Alibaba Creates Aliyun Search Engine To Challenge Baidu, Google In China
2013: The appearance and functionality of the SERP on Aliyun was more like Google than a comparable page on Chinese search leader Baidu’s site.
ChaCha Defeats Google, Bing And Siri In “Answers Quality” Study
2013: “ChaCha delivered the highest quality responses consistently across the largest group of categories and question types.”
Twitter’s Traffic Up 9%, Thanks To Google
2010: When Google added real-time results to their search interface in December, it had a major impact on people discovering tweets in the search results.
Google: “With Buzz We Failed To Appreciate That Users Have Differing Privacy Expectations”
2010: Also, Google revealed that for every 15 people who click through to the privacy controls and preferences that “four users edit preferences, one opts out and 10 do nothing.”
Google Shopper: Scan Books, DVDs, Video Games, Bar Codes & Get Prices
2010: You could point the app at books, CDs, DVDs, and video games, and barcodes and it would fetch the details of that product and give you the prices, stores, reviews and more about that product.
Google Adds Maps, Local Search For 30 Countries In Africa
2010: Users could now find local businesses.
Yahoo Formalizes Rich Ads In Search, Text Ads Gain Images Or Video
2009: After testing this for close to a year, Yahoo would formally announce Rich Ads In Search – a service that placed images and videos into paid ads in Yahoo’s search results.
Go Figure: Twitter Tests Adding Search To Main Navigation
2009: Twitter Search had become incredibly popular, even thought most people had no clue how to find it.
Official: Google To Enforce AdWords URL Policy Starts April 1
2008: The policy required the ad’s display URL match its destination URL.
Microsoft Signals Long Term Commitment To Search Even Without Yahoo
2008: Bill Gates said with or without Yahoo, the company would invest heavily in web search over the long term to compete with Google.
Yahoo Makes Big Customer Satisfaction Gains In Search
2008: Yahoo called out the “Search Assist & Suggestions Rankings” metric, where it apparently outperformed Google, based on the introduction in October of Search Assist.
Google Earth Image Update: Spain Images
2008: The imagery update covered the eastern edge of Spain, including Barcelona.
China Government Censured Baidu For Spreading “Filthy Pictures”
2008: Internet users in China were reportedly using Baidu to find images of actor Edison Chen and several female stars in sexual acts that were spreading throughout the web.
Topix To Power Community For Local NBC Affiliates
2008: Topix already did this for selected newspapers and Gannett TV sites and claimed 100 media partners for its local news and/or community features.
SES London 2008 Day One Recap
Google Sending Wikipedia A Ton Of Traffic
2007: The percentage of Google’s downstream traffic going to Wikipedia increased by 166% year over year.
Google Finance Plus Signs In Google Search Results
2007: Clicking on the plus sign opened a Google Finance preview.
Past contributions from Search Engine Land’s Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
These columns are a snapshot in time and have not been updated since publishing, unless noted. Opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.
- 2018: International SEO and search trends: How does it all work? by Marcus Miller
- 2016: Are Dynamic Ad Varieties A Waste Of Your Time? by Carrie Albright
- 2016: App Indexing & The New Frontier Of SEO: App Packs & App Store Search by Emily Grossman
- 2015: Opportunities For 2015 Omni-Channel Success In Paid Search & Beyond by Matt Ackley
- 2014: Can Bing Be More Competitive In Search? by Paul Bruemmer
- 2014: Why Duplicate Business Listings Are Like The Walking Dead by Andrew Shotland
- 2014: Google Shopping Campaigns Are Now Live — How To Get Started by Rick Backus
- 2013: 15 Tips To Launch A Successful Multilingual PPC Campaign by Andy Atkins-Krüger
- 2013: 4 Under The Radar Keyword Research Sources You Can Use To Find Hidden Gems by David de Souza
- 2010: Improve Your Search Campaigns With Smart Cross-Selling by Evan LaPointe
- 2010: Bing’s Stefan Weitz: Where Is Search Going? by Gord Hotchkiss
- 2010: What Do I Look At First? Analytics Beyond Revenue Tracking by Carrie Hill
- 2010: Touch-Phones: Changing The Way We Search by Steve Ives
- 2009: URL Rewrites & Redirects: The Gory Details (Part 1 of 2) by Stephan Spencer
- 2009: And Your Next SMB Advertiser Is…Already An Advertiser by Hanan Lifshitz
- 2008: A Big Roundup Of Link Building Tools by Debra Mastaler
- 2008: Why Commercial Domains Don’t Get On Digg Any More by Cameron Olthuis
- 2007: Understanding Link Reputation by Eric Ward
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