This day in search marketing history: March 5
Google confirms Vince Update, plus: mobile-first indexing, webspam, Google adds page load time to Quality Score algorithm and more.
Matt Cutts confirms Vince, calls it a ‘minor change’
In 2009, Google’s Matt Cutts created a video to answer many questions about a recent “brand push” in the search results that SEOs and webmasters had noticed, starting in late February.
Cutts confirmed the “minor change,” adding that Google’s ranking algorithm may be factoring trust, quality, PageRank, and other metrics for more generic queries. Cutts said it did not impact long-tail queries.
A Googler named Vince created this change, which is how the Vince Update got its name.
Read all about it in Google’s Vince Update Produces Big Brand Rankings; Google Calls It A Trust “Change”
Also on this day
Google to switch completely over to mobile-first indexing by September 2020
2020: Google said 70% of sites shown in search had already been switched over.
Google Ads significantly streamlines attribution reporting
2020: It was also dropping “Search” from the name.
Several WordPress SEO plugins are on the fritz
2020: Google Analytics Dashboard for WP, Yoast SEO and Rank Math all had issues.
SEOs on Google e-commerce category recommendation: ‘I’ll stop doing it when it stops working.’
2019: Though Google’s John Mueller suggested webmasters not put content in e-commerce category page footers, SEOs valued performance more highly.
More ‘shoppable ads’ coming to Google Images
2019: The sponsored images highlighted products that, when moused over, revealed brand, price and other details.
Maximize Clicks in Bing Ads now available globally
2019: The strategy automatically set bids to increase click volume. There were some manual control options.
Report: 51% of website hacks related to SEO spam
2019: These hacks target websites in order to try to manipulate the success of a site’s SEO campaign and boost its rankings in Google and other search engines.
Voice gaining on mobile browser as top choice for smartphone-based search
2019: Since 2018, voice had become more users’ first choice for mobile search.
Yelp adds ‘Verified Licenses’ for local providers to lineup of paid products
2019: Yelp manually checks that the business has a license and is in good standing.
Google selling Zagat to restaurant recommendations site The Infatuation
2018: Google no longer needed Zagat.
Google is extending Search capabilities to iMessage and other browser apps on iOS
2018: New extensions brought the search engine into more apps on iOS.
Bing has confirmed support for JSON-LD formatted Schema.org markup
2018: Though not yet available in the toolset, buildout of verification support within Bing Webmaster Tools was in progress.
Google’s “One True Answer” problem — when featured snippets go bad
2017: It was a problem because sometimes these answers were terribly wrong.
Google: The Mobile Friendly Update Ranking Factor Will Be Real Time & On A Page-By-Page Basis
2015: Google’s Gary Illyes answered some questions around this new ranking factor at SMX West.
Google May Discontinue Its AJAX Crawlable Guidelines
2015: Gary Illyes indicated Google would be decommissioning its guidelines.
Official: Google Compare For Auto Insurance Launches
2015: Rolling out in California to start, Google was getting into the car insurance business with lead generation.
What’s The Most Searched Thing On Google? Turns Out It’s “Google”
2015: Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes said the most searched term on Google is “Google” itself during an SMX West session.
Google Search Now Serving Up Cocktail Recipes With Drink Ingredients & Directions
2015: The new cocktail recipe search feature worked on both desktop and mobile for a number of cocktails.
Bing Listens: New Site Serves As A Suggestion Box For Bing Users
2015: Bing was looking for feedback from its users, launching a virtual suggestion box.
Spotted: Google Knowledge Graph Ad Tests New Google Shopping PLA Display
2014: This appeared to be the first instance of Google Shopping powering Knowledge Graph ads.
Go Deep: Product Listing Ad Campaigns That Just Focus On Top Sellers Get Short Changed [Study]
2014: A significant amount of PLA revenue came from single-conversion SKUs and those conversions had a higher return on ad spend.
Xbox One Gets Bing Web Search
2014: When you searched with “Xbox Bing,” you would receive results from the Bing marketplace as well as relevant items from the web.
BrightEdge Uses SEO Patents As “Sword,” Sues Searchmetrics
2014: BrightEdge sued rival Searchmetrics using multiple SEO patents that were granted last year.
Google’s Cutts: We Don’t Ban Sites Critical Of Google, But Here Is Why We Do Penalize Sites…
2013: Matt Cutts answers “Does Google use a set standard for manually removing webspam?”
Google’s Matt Cutts Awarded Patent On Detecting Hidden Text & Hidden Links
2013: A new Google patent was awarded, named Systems and methods for detecting hidden text and hidden links.
Google Maps App For iPhone Upgrade Adds Local Icons, Google Contacts & More Countries
2013: The changes included improved search for local venues, integration with your contacts and the addition of new countries.
Web Spam Archive Tool Saves Google’s Live Spam For More Than Just Recent Results
2013: This tool allowed users to flip through more than 2,000 examples.
Flush With New Cash, Structured Data Engine FindTheBest Ready To Make Its Move
2013: Company created a “data platform” that could manage enormous amounts of data, synthesize and present that information in a user-friendly way.
Google “Search Plus Your World” To Launch Beyond US? Likely, As Secure Search Set To Expand
2012: It also meant that search marketers could expect the percentage of “(not provided)” data to greatly increase.
Google Sent Over 700,000 Messages Via Webmaster Tools In Past Two Months
2012: That was more than the total number of messages Google sent in 2011 and almost more than what Google had sent since launching Google Webmaster Tools message center.
Keeping Up With Google: Bing Launches New “Search Quality Insights” Series
2012: Bing announced its “Search Quality Insights” series to provide a more behind-the-scenes look at its search engine.
Google Enables Cross-Platform Local Search (As Carrot To Relinquish Your Privacy)
2012: Google was enabling people to gain access to PC search histories on their mobile browsers (Android, iPhone).
Google Faces “Innovator’s Dilemma” As It Prepares Response To Siri
2012: Google delivered a mobile-optimized version of its PC experience. Siri is more task oriented and “transactional” than Google Voice Actions.
Bing & Yahoo Soon To Support Canonical Tag
2010: Bing said canonical tag support should be in place by the end of March or early April. Yahoo said they were rolling out support of the tag, but cautioned that Yahoo will only use it “as a hint”.
Bing, Yahoo Discussing Future Of Yahoo Site Explorer
2010: Yahoo and Bing were in the midst of discussions to decide the future of Yahoo’s popular Site Explorer SEO tool.
Bing Maps Rolls Out Its Largest Image Update
2010: New aerial and Bird’s Eye imagery across many countries on several continents.
Yahoo Updates Desktop Search Marketing Tool
2010: Upgrades to bulk editing, campaign transfer, keyword research and more.
Yahoo Gains AT&T, Loses T-Mobile Search Deal
2010: T-Mobile swapped Yahoo for Google as the default search engine on the T-Mobile portal.
Google Touts Wisdom Of Crowds For Financial Help
2009: Google announced TipJar, a place where people could submit answers to the question, “How can I save money?”
Inquisitor Debuts On iPhone
2009: A very nifty search tool from Yahoo for the iPhone.
Why Do Lawyers From Utah Hate Search Ads?
2009: Utah, for the third time, was trying to regulate keyword advertising by proposing new law.
Google Adds Page Load Time To Quality Score Algorithm
2008: If your destination URL was a very slow loading page, then Google would give you a poor “load time grade.”
Oops! Google’s SSL Certificate Throwing Out Scary Warnings
2008: Google: “some web pages containing the AdWords Conversion Tracking code snippet presented visitors with a browser message indicating a Google server certificate had expired.”
Google Debuts “Search Within A Site” Search Box Feature
2008: Google: “This feature will now occur when we detect a high probability that a user wants more refined search results within a specific site.”
Matt Cutts & The Search Community Interview
2008: Questions included how Cutts became the face of Google for webmasters, how other Googlers were aiding him, and the struggle in demonstrating that he was not the final answer at Google for SEOs.
Google Analytics Benchmarking Feature, Data Sharing & Audio Ad Charting
2008: Users could now compare their site’s performance to industry benchmarks, though only if they agreed to share their data to help produce such aggregate benchmarks.
Yahoo Celebrates Its 13th Birthday; Will There Be A 14th?
2008: Spoiler alert: yes.
Obit: A West Coast Digerati Deadpools Ask.com
2008: Goodbye, Ask.com.
Pew: Cellphones More Important To Users Than Internet, TV, Email
2008: And an increasing number of consumers were using their mobile phones for things other than voice communications, including accessing mobile internet content.
Google Testing Yellow Background Color Behind AdWords Ads?
2007: Those ads typically had a light blue background color.
Google Rises To UK’s 2nd Biggest Ad Earner
2007: Google UK had earned $1.6 billion (£825 million) in 2006, putting them ahead of Channel 4 but behind ITV
Local Shopping Search Stalks E-Commerce
2007: A number of companies were seeking to make the online-offline shopping connection.
Pandia Offers Custom Search For Search Information
2007: Pandia offered a free custom search called the Search Engine Detective, a meta search engine which let you do specialized searches for anything search engine related.
From Search Marketing Expo (SMX)
- Understanding & Leveraging Search By Voice: Up Close @SMX (SMX West 2015)
- Hot Off The Press: PPC News, Tips & Tools From SMX West (SMX West 2012)
- SMX West 2010 Day Three Coverage
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.
- 2020: Amazon’s A9 product ranking algorithm: Your guide to Amazon SEO for maximum visibility by George Nguyen
- 2020: Will RSAs help or hurt your account? This script will help you figure it out by Frederick Vallaeys
- 2019: Why DuckDuckGo matters by Adam Dorfman
- 2019: How to set up Google Search Console domain verification for site-wide reporting data by Detlef Johnson
- 2018: Get inside your customer’s head: A guide to writing irresistible calls to action by Jacob Baadsgaard
- 2015: Understanding How Your Brand Drives Google Shopping Campaign Traffic by Mark Ballard
- 2014: 7 Common Pitfalls Of Google Display Network Campaign Management by Rebekah Schelfhout
- 2014: Create A Winning Paid Search Strategy For The World Cup by John Cosley
- 2013: The Lasting Effect Of Memes & Social Media Timing by Aaron Friedman
- 2013: Why Pay Per Click Is Such A Beautiful Tool For SEO by Andy Atkins-Krüger
- 2013: Interflora Is Back: What Did They Fix & How Did They Come Back So Fast? by Christoph Cemper
- 2012: Now Is The Time To Take Your Local Business Mobile by Stephanie Hobbs
- 2012: Untangling Your Mobile Metrics With Better Redirects by Sherwood Stranieri
- 2012: Why So Many Companies Fail At Enterprise SEO by Marshall Simmonds
- 2011: Your Site’s Traffic Has Plummeted Since Google’s Panda Update. Now What? by Vanessa Fox
- 2010: Solving Website Indexing Problems by Carrie Hill
- 2009: Having A Crawlable Site Architecture Still Matters by Michael Gray
- 2009: Search As Television’s Savior? by Tom Wilde
- 2008: SEO Site Audit: A Wise Investment For All Companies by Jessica Bowman
- 2008: Hot Or Not? Finding Hot Prospects With Lead Scoring by Jon Miller
- 2007: Google Personalized Search, Google Bookmarks & Link Building by Eric Ward
- 2007: Google Local Search Glossary, Pocket Version by Bill Slawski
- 2007: Meta Robots Tag 101: Blocking Spiders, Cached Pages & More by Danny Sullivan
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