Top SEO News of 2014

Top SEO Stories of 2014

The Penguin Returns

For months all most SEOs could talk about was when Google would refresh its eagerly anticipated Penguin algorithm. Finally on October 17, 2014, after over a year of anxious waiting and nail biting, Google complied with the release of Penguin3.0.

Google Struggles With The European Union

The adoption of the “Right to be Forgotten Ruling”, legal issues surrouding “stolen” content in Google’s answer box in both Germany and Spain, and of course the European Parliaments threats to force Google into to breaking up into smaller divisions or possibly separate companies, has made this year a tough one for Google.

Matt Cutts Extends His Leave Until 2015

In July of 2014, Matt Cutts announced he’d be taking a leave of absence until October. In November he then announced that he would be extending his leave until 2015, leaving many to speculate if he will be returning at all. Comments made by Matt on the popular “This Week In Google” indicated that this will more than likely be the case.

I loved the part of my job that dealt with keeping an eye on what important news was happening related to Google, but, it’s not clear that having me as a lightning rod for unhappy black hat SEOs, or something, is the best use of anybody’s time compared to working on other things making the world better for Google…so we’ll see.

To Link or Not to Link

While it’s not one major story, Google continued it’s war on bad links throughout 2014 by continuing it’s penalization and devaluation of link networks, guest blogging and press release syndication sites. While Google may have been going after the shadier side of link building Matt Cutts stated that they would not be devaluing all links anytime soon, reinforcing the the need to build high quality, relevant backlinks for your site.

Goodbye Rel=Author

On August 28, 2014 John Mueller announced that Google would no loner be showing authorship results or tracking data using the Rel=Author tag. This was preceeded by the removal of author photos that often accompanied the article listed in search results.

HTTPS

Google announced it would be giving a slight ranking boost to https sites – and when Google tells you something is a ranking factor you do it!

Pigeon Algorithm Takes Flight

This all new search algorithm was targeted specifically at local search rankings. Many local businesses saw changes in traffic, as Google was able to better understand distance and location ranking parameters and incorporate more traditional web search ranking signals

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