2014: A Roller Coaster Ride for SEO

When it comes to SEO, one could never expect to stick to a single update. With new updates almost every month throughout 2014, there is a lot that the SEO optimizers had to keep in mind while optimizing the sites. With 2015 almost a blink away, let us have a look at the SEO updates from the past year.

January

In January 2015, Google penalized some of the big shot websites. This is because of the update where Google introduced a new Googlebot for crawling the content over mobile. Due to this update, webmasters had to update their robots.txt files and revised the overall technical structure for their mobile site.

One of the big short brands that lost nearly 25% of its online visibility due penalty was Expedia. It got hit due to stuffed link building.

February

Google implemented 100% secure search. Google said that this was done to provide high level protection to searchers. All the searches were made secure except for Ad Clicks.

March

Google went a step ahead and redesigned all its SERPs for users searching through desktop. They removed underlined hyperlinks, enhanced the font size marginally for the title tags, and altered the way are banner ads are displayed. This eventually increased the volatility rate for Google.

April

This was the time when the Heartbleed bug was revealed. This affected a host of security software such as Google and Rackspace to name a few, which eventually affected the privacy concerns for people using Internet.

May

With the introduction of Panda 4.0 update, sites with low quality content were targeted. Some of the big names such as Ask.com, eBay and RetailMeNot were affected by the update.

At that time, eBay got affected by both Panda 4.0 update and a manual search engine penalty. According to the company spokesperson, eBay incurred a loss of $200 million in revenue.

June

Google stepped in and hosted the event of year, I/O 2014. During the event, the compan’s0 future vision was communicated. This included a new design for Chrome, Android and an updated element to search. In addition to this, all the photos in SERP listings that had authorship were removed.

July

Google has a special affinity for animals and this got clear when Google released a local search algorithm update namely “Pigeon.” With this update, all the attributes based upon which Google determined the local rankings were altered.

August

Google was taking the whole Internet privacy thing seriously and this was quite evitable from the fact that it announced using HTTPS as a ranking signal. This encouraged everyone to move from HTTP to HTTPS.

September

A new set of SEO Ranking Factors were released by Searchmetrics. These included quality content, well-built page design and user signals. The update saw a massive increase in the factors affecting ranking. Eventually, keyword links and social signals saw a major decrease in authority.

October

Google updated Penguin, the mighty algorithm filter responsible for targeting web spam in optimization. This was a golden chance for all those who were hit by the last Penguin.

November

Google introduced a Mobile friendly search label to enhance the search experience for mobile users. This was the time when Google started experimenting with an innovating ranking algorithm for mobile sites.

December

Bing went ahead and released its own version of Panda, which did justice to good content.

Seeing all the updates that came across in 2014, we can say it was a tough yet interesting year for the optimizers. Let us see what 2015 will bring for us!