In the past year we have published weekly updates of the most important blog postings from the world of SEO. The most frequent subject was the ever changing algorithm of Google. 2012 Was the year of Google’s quality updates, which had to take away the pressure of Google’s quality team. With the Panda and Penguin updates they tried to eliminate websites with bad content to ensure the best search results for their visitors. Besides the posts about the Panda and Penguin updates, we also collected the most interesting researches, articles and blogs.
Google Search Plus Your World
The year just started and Google already came with one of the biggest updates of the year. On January 10 Google integrated social search. Search Plus Your World optimizes searchresults based on your personal online profile (Google+). Read more about Search Plus Your World on the official blog of Google.
Updates to rich snippets
Last April Google announced two new updates regarding to the rich snippets. Product rich snippets are now supported worldwide and the rich snippets testing tool now also supports HTML input. Read the blogpost about the Rich Snippets update.
As for me, one of the most surprising updates of 2012 was the Venice Update in which Google obviously shifted its’ focus to local orientated searchresults. Mike Ramsey wrote a blogpost about the Venice Update and how to make it work to your advantage.
Penquin update: Another step to reward high-quality sites
In the last week of April Google announced the unrollment of an update in the algorhitm, which will focus on filtering the webspam from the searchresults. The overall goal is to tackle the sites that are outreaching Google’s quality guidelines, and to reward websites that offer a great visitor experience and good content.
In the war that Google is fighting against the manipulation of search engine results, they made a new surprising step. Multiple website owners received notifications through Webmaster Tools about the fact that they have incoming links from low quality websites. On Search Engine Land they wrote a descriptive summary about the warnings.
7 Results per SERP
People first started to notice the shrinkage of the SERP´s of Google in mid August. Google was testing the SERP´s with fewer results per page. Especialy with when searching for the bigger brands you will only get 7 URLs on a page. SEOmoz listed all the specific data.
The best SEO posts in 2012
Filtering of linkdirectories
During a research of Webmasterworld a SEO-er discovered that Google started filtering out link directories from the search results. He says that 50% of all link directories vanished from the index. After a more detailed research it became clear this is really the case.
Searching is all about discovering, but accoding to Amit Singhal requieres too much efford for the ‘normal’ user. Therefor he introduced the “Knowledge Graph”, a graph that will help finding information quicker and easier. This impressive model also focuses on situations where there are multiple results for just one single query.
16 Google Penalty, Update & Filter Visualisations
Screaming Frog made an overview of great examples that show the influence of the different Google updates and penalties. It’s really interesting to see the big effects it had on some websites.
Local search ranking factors
David Mihm is going into great detail about the developments regarding Google’s local search. Furthermore he also published the results of a research that looked into the 90 positive and 18 negative factors that can influence local search. The result: some really interesting facts.
Comparing Link Data Tools
Thanks to many Google updates that mainly focused on linkquality a lot was written about the different SEO tools. This article focuses on a study that outlines the differences of the different tools that can be used to compare linkdata. Rob Kerry also wrote a similar blogpost about this topic.
Matt Cutts: “You shouldn’t put a lot of weight on +1s just yet”
On 14 August the SES Conference, one of the biggest search-and social marketing events of the year, started in San Francisco. Google’s Matt Cutts surprised the attendents with a Q&A session in which he reveiled that Google isn’t (yet) using Google+1 that much. State of Search was there to report.
What is the “Search Quality team” of Google focusing on?
Are you considering using the disavow tool? Or do you just want to make sure you won’t need it in the future? If so, read this interesting interview with Andre Weyher, ex-member of the Search Quality team of Google. He explains the do’s and don’ts of SEO.
The most creative linkbuilding blogpost of all time.
Jon Cooper, known for his weblog about linkbuilding, put together a weblog based on interviews he held with 50 SEO consultants, that share their most creative linkbuilding.
The future of SEO in 2013.
2012 Came to an end and a new year started. Time to look at the predictions for 2013. On Stokedseo.co.uk they questioned a big number of SEO’s about their predictions regarding SEO developments for 2013.