The Top 5 SEO Stories of 2014

January 9, 2015

The Top 5 SEO Stories of 2014

Minneapolis Marketing Agency Gives SEO TipsThere is no industry evolving faster than SEO. 2014 was a perfect example of this – Moz reported that Google implemented major algorithm changes 15 times in 2014! With every change, search engine optimization (SEO) experts like those at Brandography must adapt to the newest tools and best practices.

Here are some of 2014’s biggest SEO highlights:

1.) “Not Provided” Keyword Tops 80% of Traffic

Google provided great insight into user traffic by showing site owners what search terms (keywords) brought users to the site. Unfortunately, that was changed for privacy reasons – now, searches by signed-in Google users appear simply as “Not Provided.” In 2014, 80% of the “best performing organic keywords” were hidden with this label, keeping many site owners in the dark.

2.) Panda 4.0

In May, Google unveiled its latest update for homing in on sites with low quality content. This major update to its “Panda” algorithm prevents sites with poor or irrelevant content from appearing in top search results. While most legitimate sites were unaffected by this update, some sites saw their page rank plummet – including and eBay.

3.) Pigeon

In July, Google released a new local search algorithm that changed which factors determine local rankings to provide more useful and relevant results. Named “Pigeon,” the algorithm uses even more of Google’s web search capabilities and improves on their distance and location ranking parameters.

4.) Penguin 3.0

In October, Google updated its “Penguin” filter (yep – Google loves animals that start with “P”) in an effort to better target “spammy” sites. As a result, many websites saw a dramatic decline in their page rank while others improved, especially those reworked after being hit by the last Penguin update.

5.) Goodbye Local Carousel

In November, Google got rid of its horizontal local “carousel” display for restaurants, hotels, and nightlife. The carousel was replaced with the “three pack” results, which displays the top three search results along with ratings, prices, descriptions, and images.

2015 is already off to a fast start. If you’re looking for help optimizing your website this year, our online marketing specialists can give you the SEO help you need to succeed. Contact our Minneapolis marketing agency today for a free, no obligation consultation at (612) 460-0016, or through Brandography’s contact form.

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