This day in search marketing history: January 17

This day in search marketing history: January 17

The Google Speed Update, plus: links important for ranking, cross-device conversions, SOPA, Google Alerts and more.

Google Speed Update: New ranking algorithm designed for mobile search

In 2018, Google announced the “Speed Update” – a new ranking algorithm designed for mobile search – would go live later in the year.

The “Speed Update,” as we’re calling it, will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.

Google’s Zhiheng Wang and Doantam Phan, Using page speed in mobile search ranking

In 2010, Google said page speed was a ranking factor only on desktop searches. Google promised to look at mobile page speed for years before this announcement.

Starting in July 2018, Google said it would be looking at how fast mobile pages are and use that as a ranking factor in mobile search.

Read all about it in: The Google Speed Update: Page speed will become a ranking factor in mobile search.

Google also answered several questions for Search Engine Land, which we published in: FAQs on new Google Speed Update: AMP pages, Search Console notifications & desktop only pages.

Also on this day 

Google Search Console launches desktop page experience report

2022: The report offered metrics, such as the percentage of URLs with good page experience and search impressions over time, to quickly evaluate performance and see what improvements were needed for specific pages.

OneSearch, Verizon Media’s new search engine, sounds awfully familiar

2020: DuckDuckGo, anyone? The new search engine would serve results powered by Bing and run contextual ads rather than behaviorally targeted ads that rely on cookies.

Updated study: Links are still incredibly important for ranking in Google

2019: The aggregate link data, using 27,000 queries, showed a strong correlation between links and ranking.

Bing Ads will serve all Yahoo search ads in new Microsoft-Verizon Media deal

2019: The extended partnership would make all Yahoo search inventory available through the Bing Ads platform. Bing Ads would continue to serve all AOL search inventory.

Google shares tips for success in Google News search results

2019: These 11 tips were largely established best practices – a good refresher, rather than new approaches.

Survey: Smart speaker ownership steals time from smartphones, TV, radio

2018: The study suggested there are about 40 million devices in US homes.

Survey: 60% of voice users want more answers and fewer search results

2017: Making calls, searching, texting and map lookups were the most common use cases for voice.

Google Issues Bad Ads Report: 59 Percent More Ads Pulled, But Fewer Bad Advertisers In 2013

2014: Google said it pulled more than 350 million bad ads from its systems.

AdWords Cross-Device Conversions: How 1-800-FLOWERS Is Using The Data To Be More Customer Centric

2014: 1-800-Flowers saw the overall conversion contribution from AdWords rise 7% when counting orders that started on one device and ended on another. 

Google Alerts Get A Shiny New Redesign

2014: The emails got a similarly clean look-and-feel to the card-style layout that had become prevalent in Google search results, Google Now, on Google’s mobile apps and elsewhere.

Search In Pics: Bing Hawks Towels, YouTube’s Emmy & Android Sugar Cubes

2014: The latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have and more.

Bing Adds 5X More Facebook Content To Social Sidebar

2013: This included Facebook status updates, comments and shared links in addition to the Facebook content already present (Likes, photos, etc.).

Adobe: Paid Search Opportunities Lie In Tablet Targeting And PLAs

2013: Paid search as a whole had a good holiday season, Adobe found, with spend by online retailers up 16% year-over-year.

Ever Wanted To Be Siri? Apple Seeks A Writer

2013: The ideal candidate: someone who combined a love for language, wordplay, and conversation with demonstrated experience in bringing creative content to life within an intense technical environment.

“Who Sent Me Chocolates?” – Company Tries Sweet Twist To Tap Into Google Traffic

2013: They were not the first company to suggest you Google something to click on the first result. But they seemed to be the first to send out personalized messages in this fashion.

AdGroup-Level Impression Share Metrics Coming To AdWords

2012: Previously, impression share metrics were available only at the campaign level, which didn’t help when advertisers were trying to determine which particular ad group should be allocated more budget.

Google To Join Anti-SOPA “Blackout Day” With Home Page Protest

2012: While Google wouldn’t go dark, Google did link to anti-SOPA information on its homepage.

Yahoo’s Co-founder Jerry Yang Resigns

2012: Yang, who co-founded the company in March 1995, officially stepped down from its Board of Directors and all other positions with the company. 

Google Links To Competitors Next To YouTube Videos

2011: Google began showing links to different video sites and search engines in its search results. The links appeared next to YouTube videos, but only on music-related searches. 

Robbing Peter To Pay Paul: Report Says MSN Suffering For Focus On Bing

2011: Microsoft’s use of its popular portal MSN as a traffic driver for Bing was compromising some of MSN’s partner relationships, angering internal sales staff and even costing the company revenue.

Spanish Want Google To Police Libel On The Internet

2011: The Spanish data protection authority demanded that Google remove links to articles online (e.g., newspaper articles) that contain defamatory content. Disputes Google’s No. 1 Ranking In Czech Republic

2011: Seznam called the news “misleading” and said they were based on “a rather unobjective interpretation of Toplist statistics.”

Google’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Logo

2011: Google had a special Doodle on for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Yahoo & Microsoft Execs Meet Again

2009: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer met with Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock, restarting speculation about the on-again, off-again merger/deal talks.

Google’s Video Sites Gain Market Share

2008: Americans viewed nearly 9.5 billion online videos during the month and Google was the leading destination, with 3 billion videos viewed (31.3% share of all videos viewed), 2.9 billion of which were on YouTube (30.6%).

OpenID Gaining Critical Mass, Yahoo Announces Support

2008: Yahoo’s 248 million registered users became part of the Open ID system.

The Library of Congress Teams Up With Flickr

2008: The Flickr community was asked to tag photos to help users search for those pictures and give the Library of Congress a more complete and comprehensive method of organizing those photos. To Announce Five Strategic Initiatives Today

2008: $25 million in new grants and investments to initial partners.

Truveo Creates New Election Videos Site

2008: It collected candidate videos as well as commentary and news footage.  

Q&A With Gabe Rivera, Creator Of Techmeme

2007: Gabe talked about the service, how it had grown, how it operates and future plans.

Linkbait Articles & Is It Linkbait Or Link Bait?

2007: A rundown on a few linkbait articles and the “to linkbait” or “to link bait” decision we had to make.

Google AdSense Updates Program Policies & Competitive Ads Policy

2007: Running anything in an ad unit that resembled the AdSense ad unit appearing anywhere on the same site became against the terms. 

Google Pushing Google Checkout More

2007: New Google Checkout customers got $10 from Google to spend at Google Checkout merchants.

Wired Looks At Yahoo Failures Over The Years

2007: From not buying Google, to Panama and more.

Are Lower Case Titles In Yahoo Coming From Anchor Text

2007: It was a bug. Yahoo fixed the issue about a week later.

Star Your Favorite Questions at Yahoo Answers

2007: Yahoo allowed users to vote for their favorite questions by adding a star next to interesting or high-quality questions.

Industry Moves: Peter Horan Goes To IAC

2007: Peter Horan was the CEO until its acquisition by the New York Times. and then headed up small business portal

Mapshark: A Search Engine For Mashups

2007: It was built using Google’s Custom Search Engine to find interesting and useful mashups.

Boxxet Offers “Best Of” Collections On Popular Topics

2007: It combined aspects of computer automation with community and social commentary and ranking systems to create “box sets” of web-based content for specific topics.

Search Engine Land: Top Stories & Stats, Jan. 16, 2007

2007: A look at the top stories, along with tips, takeaways and suggestions.

From Search Marketing Expo (SMX)

  • Ad testing in a multi-format world of responsive search ads, three headlines and more

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: Google desktop favicon search results study by Richard Falconer
  • 2019: 25 tools to streamline YouTube SEO optimization by Diana Ford
  • 2019: Get more conversions by deconstructing your PPC ads by Frederick Vallaeys
  • 2018: Bizarre review schema implementation spotlights gaps between Google’s guidelines & how rich results really work by Andrew Shotland
  • 2018: The technology behind AI in PPC by Frederick Vallaeys
  • 2017: How to build links without creating content: 5 examples by Andrew Dennis
  • 2017: Mind the store: Using AdWords to drive offline sales by Matt Lawson
  • 2014: 4 Go-Tos To Make Online Reviews Work For Your Business by Chris Marentis
  • 2014: Tax Season: Plan Now For Great Advertising Returns by John Cosley
  • 2013: 4 Trends That May Surprise Online Marketers In 2013 by Matt Lawson
  • 2013: Are You Getting These SEO Fundamentals Right? by Trond Lyngbø
  • 2013: Is Google Hijacking Semantic Markup/Structured Data? by Barbara Starr
  • 2012: A New Year, New Markets & New Keywords by Bill Hunt
  • 2012: Linking Strategies For Google Plus Your World by Eric Ward
  • 2012: Rich Snippets & Learning To Love Not Being #1 by Byrne Hobart
  • 2011: 5 Keys To Reselling Search Engine Marketing To Small Businesses by Brooks McMahon
  • 2011: Questioning Paid Search Benchmarks by George Michie
  • 2011: Case Study: How Negative Keywords Can Pump Up Paid Search Performance by Matt Lawson
  • 2010: One Small Step For Marketers, One Giant Leap In Profit by Adam Goldberg
  • 2008: Four Reasons To Avoid Using Dates In URLs by Aaron Wall
  • 2008: Twitter: What Are You Thinking? by Todd Mintz
  • 2008: Why The SEO Industry Needs Small Business by Matt McGee
  • 2007: Google Billboard & Google Kiosk Coming? by Bill Slawski

< January 16 | Search Marketing History | January 18 >

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