This day in search marketing history: February 28

This day in search marketing history: February 28

R.I.P., DMOZ, plus: Multifaceted featured snippets, Google’s non-answer on CTR, voice search ranking factors and more.


In 2017, DMOZ – The Open Directory Project that used human editors to organize websites — announced it was closing as of March 14.

By this time, DMOZ had been mostly forgotten as a resource. Perhaps the biggest surprise was that it took so long.

DMOZ was born in June 1998 as “GnuHoo,” then quickly changed to “NewHoo,” a rival to the Yahoo Directory at the time. It was acquired by Netscape in November 1998 and renamed the Netscape Open Directory. Later that month, AOL acquired Netscape, giving AOL control of The Open Directory.

Read all about it in RIP DMOZ: The Open Directory Project is closing.

Also on this day

New business openings nearly match pre-pandemic levels, Yelp says

2022: However, most major cities actually experienced a decrease in openings.

Etsy sellers to pay 30% higher transaction fees beginning in April

2022: A “considerable portion” of the revenue from the fee increase would be reinvested into the marketplace.

New Google Lighthouse extension for Firefox goes live

2020: Firefox had not yet reviewed the extension, so it got automatically categorized as “not a Recommended Extension.” 

Optimization scores, recommendations and their impact on Google Partner agencies

2020: Google said Partner agencies would continue to have “control and autonomy” as it put more emphasis on auto-generated recommendations.

Google’s new treatment of nofollow links has arrived

2020: Google was about to begin treating the nofollow link attribute as a hint, rather than a directive, for crawling and indexing.

Google experiments with public search profile cards

2020: Limited to India, the Google+-like feature gave personal brands and individuals some control over their own search results.

In feature battle with Google, Yelp improves restaurant waitlist functionality

2020: Yelp was rolling out its Notify Me feature, which supported Yelp Waitlist.

Google’s CTR answer just what you’d expect, and this is why SEOs go bananas

2019: Would Google give us a clear statement that outright said it does not currently use CTR directly in their core search ranking algorithm? Of course not.

Google opens complaint form to crack down on fake info in Maps

2019: Google launched the Business Redressal Complaint Form to allow searchers and users to report fraudulent activity relating to businesses Google Maps.

Amazon extends Sponsored Products to AmazonFresh for CPG brands

2019: Consumer packaged goods brands could extend their campaigns to their products sold in the AmazonFresh delivery program.

Multifaceted featured snippets begin rolling out in Google search results

2018: Multifaceted featured snippets would be surfaced for queries that were sufficiently broad enough to allow for more than one interpretation of what was submitted. 

Rand Fishkin leaves Moz, announces a new start-up

2018: After 17 years of working at the company he co-founded, Fishkin was starting a new company around influencer and audience intelligence.

Study: 11 voice search ranking factors analyzed

2018: 63.6% of voice search results didn’t use Schema at all. 

Google gives SEO tips on how to handle day-long site closures

2017: Tips from Google’s John Mueller on what to do if you needed to turn off your website for a period of time and worried your Google rankings will drop. 

After rare Google confirmation of on-site penalty, Natural News is back in Google’s index

2017: confirmed being reincluded in the Google index after being deindexed last week.

Now Official: Google Adds Restaurant Menus To Search Results

2014: Google announced that it’s now showing restaurant menus as a OneBox-style answer at the top of its U.S. search results.

AdWords Mobile App Download Campaigns Get Deeper Reporting In Google Analytics

2014: New reports on mobile app campaign performance included day parts, destination URLs and keyword positions.

Tweet Showing How Google Itself Is A “Scraper Site” Goes Massively Viral

2014: Dan Barker did a search for [what is a scraper site], which brought up Google’s own web definition at the top of the results, which technically outranked the original source of the content.

New Bing Ads Editor Version Now Available

2014: New features included the ability to rename campaigns and ad groups in the Browser pane.

Search In Pics: Yahoo’s 19th Birthday Cake, Google Jugglers & Canadian KitKat Android Statue

2014: 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 Testing Android/Chromebook-Like Navigation Element For Web Site

2013: Google was testing another navigation method to find all the various Google services and products.

Facebook Shares How People Are Using Graph Search: Finding Friends Tops List

2013: Facebook suggested some ways to go beyond that, for those who had the new search feature.

Bing Maps Adds Variety Of Hi-Res Image Improvements

2013: The prime feature that Bing was touting involved what it calls “top of the world” imagery — those hi-res, top-down images. 

Majestic SEO Now Supports 9 Languages

2013: The languages they currently support included English, Chinese, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese and Russian.

New German Law Will Allow Free “Snippets” By Search Engines, But Uncertainty Remains

2013: A proposed German copyright law wouldn’t require search engines like Google to pay to show short summaries of news content. But uncertainty remained about how much might be “too much” and require a license.

In Another “Right to Be Forgotten” Case, UK Officials Threaten Legal Action Against People Posting Pictures Of Convicted Killer

2013: UK Attorney General Dominic Grieve threatened legal action against anyone posting pictures of convicted killer Jon Venables online.

Bing Webmaster Tools API Now Available

2012: This feature allowed webmasters to easily use Bing WMT data in other locations.

Microsoft And Nokia Unify Maps On PC, Mobile

2012: Microsoft was relying heavily on the Nokia-Navteq mapping and data infrastructure. Nokia had made Ovi Maps much more Bing-like in appearance.

Google: Mobile Growth Occurring Faster Than Expected

2011: Google CEO Eric Schmidt said consumers’ adoption of the company’s mobile services has happened more quickly than executives expected.

Videos Of The First Googleplex

2011: Videos were posted of the old Google office from November 1999.

Search + Social Media Increases CTR By 94 Percent: Report

2011: Nearly 60% of cases that ended in a purchase begin with search – and social media played an increasingly important role during consideration and especially after a purchase is made.

Placecast and AT&T Launch Geo-fenced Mobile “ShopAlerts”

2011: This was opt-in “push” marketing via SMS or MMS tied to “geo-fences.”

Google Webmaster Tools: Now On Your iGoogle Homepage

2008: Rather than log into your Webmaster Tools account, you could add the Webmaster Tools gadget to your iGoogle page and access information from there.

Google Sites Launches: Replaces Jotspot With Team Sharing Software

2008: Google launched Google Sites, basically a relaunch of Jotspot but with many more features.

Google Health Formally Announced This Morning

2008: Google said it would not sell any personal consumer information. However, pages that weren’t part of the consumer health profile would potentially feature ads.

Google Maps Tailgates Yahoo, Microsoft With Real-Time Traffic Info

2007: Google Maps has caught up with Yahoo and Microsoft in adding live traffic reporting for the United States to their online mapping service.

Google Stepping Up Governmental Sales

2007: Google started a two-day sales event aimed at the U.S. government that reportedly brought in “200 federal contractors, engineers and uniformed military members.”

Google Buying TV Scatter Units

2007: Google was looking to hire a head of national TV sales in New York and dive into their TV ad play with “scatter inventory,” ads that weren’t sold well in advance.

Yahoo Provides NOYDIR Opt-Out Of Yahoo Directory Titles & Descriptions

2007: You could now tell Yahoo to not use Yahoo Directory information to make a title and/or description for your web page listings.

40% Frustrated With Video Search

2007: 32% said web video had too many commercials.

Is Voice And Mobile Search Company TellMe For Sale?

2007: Spoiler alert: It was. Microsoft acquired it March 14.

Monitoring Buries At Digg

2007: A new monitoring technique.

Keane, Head Of Advertising Sales Strategy At Google Goes To CBS Interactive

2007: At Google for four years, Patrick Keane was “responsible for developing and managing the strategic plans and relationships critical to growing Google’s advertising customer base.”

February 2007: Search Engine Land’s Most Popular Stories

2007: The 10 most popular stories from February 2007.

From Search Marketing Expo (SMX)

  • 3 tips for optimizing paid social campaigns for seasonality (SMX West 2020)
  • Day One: Search Marketing Expo West 2012 Live Blog Recap
  • SMX West 2008 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.

  • 2022: How to turn data into insights and impactful SEO strategies by Maria White
  • 2020: How to use machine learning (if you can’t code) to help your keyword research by Andy Chadwick
  • 2019: There are fundamental problems with relying only on Domain Authority metrics by Amit Raj
  • 2018: Unit economics: The foundation of a good SEM campaign by Kevin Lee
  • 2017: Link free or die by Julie Joyce
  • 2017: Sharing is caring: Click share and post-holiday shopping success by Matt Lawson
  • 2014: 6 Essentials Of E-Commerce SEO You’re Probably Still Missing by Tom Schmitz
  • 2014: How Fast Is SEO Really Changing? A Look Back At Search Ranking Factors by Nate Dame
  • 2014: When To Consider A Backlink Cleanup by Jon Ball
  • 2013: Have You Considered Privacy Issues When Using Robots.txt & The Robots Meta Tag? by Tom Schmitz
  • 2013: The Real Reason Why Google Is Dropping The Tablet vs. Desktop Distinction? It’s The User Context, Stupid! by Larry Kim
  • 2012: 3 Design Catastrophes To Avoid & 1 Great SEO Solution For Multinational Website Homepages by Chris Liversidge
  • 2012: Why Entity Search Will Be Controlled By Social Media by Aaron Friedman
  • 2012: 10 Content Ideas To Improve Organic Visibility by George Aspland
  • 2011: Step-by-Step Instructions For Testing Low Volume Ad Copy by Brad Geddes
  • 2011: A Local Search Marketing Tactic That’s One For The Books by Chris Silver Smith
  • 2011: Why Is Project Management Undervalued In SEO? by Adam Audette
  • 2008: Is Your Website Copy Crystal Clear? by Jill Whalen
  • 2008: Video Search Engine Optimization: Catering To The Masses by Eric Papczun
  • 2008: Does Your Site Have Sex Appeal? by Christine Churchill
  • 2008: Local Business Listings: Dealing with Negative Reviews by Chris Linnett
  • 2007: Are You Putting Web Search Results at Risk with Paid Advertising? by Bill Slawski
  • 2007: Here’s What’s Different About Being Small by Matt McGee

< February 27 | Search Marketing History | February 29 >

Related stories

New on Search Engine Land

    Google launched 2 new asset creation and customer acquisition tools

    A guide to keyword cannibalization in SEO and how to fix it

    Why content strategy matters most

    Bing AI Chat testing setting the tone of the responses

    This day in search marketing history: February 27

Related Post