This day in search marketing history: February 24

This day in search marketing history: February 24

This day in search marketing history: February 24

Google unleashes the Panda algorithm

In 2011, Google released an algorithm update that would eventually become known as the Google Panda Update.

Google had been facing mounting criticism over content farms earning top rankings in Google with “shallow” or “low-quality” content. The Panda algorithm was Google’s response.

The change impacted 11.8% of its search results in the U.S., which was a far higher impact on results than most of its algorithm changes.

This may have been one of the most memorable days in the history of SEO. And the impacts of Panda would continue to be felt for years to come.

Read all about it in Google Forecloses On Content Farms With “Panda” Algorithm Update and then dig deeper:

Also on this day

Google makes offline conversion tracking easier with Enhanced Conversions for Leads

2022: The new method could be configured entirely from your Google Ads account instead of your CRM. 

Buy on Google gets rid of order caps and automatic suspensions

2022: The changes removed potential bottlenecks for retailers.

Shoppers may soon be able to message merchants via Google Shopping

2022: Google was running a messaging pilot program that would enable customers to send messages to your customer service email.

Google Search may be showing featured snippets less often

2021: The tool providers noticed a decline in the number of featured snippets showing up in the Google search results.

Google set to deprecate Showcase Shopping ads on April 1

2021: Previous Showcase Shopping ad layouts would become part of Product Shopping ad groups. 

Google patent application reveals hints to E-A-T and categorizing health sites

2020: It seemed like Google could determine the category of a website and understand whether the site needed to have a level of authority (i.e., was the site written by experts and did it have an authority?).

Video: Dixon Jones on building tools for the SEO industry

2020: He helped grow one of the most popular SEO toolsets, Majestic, and was working on a new toolset called InLinks.

Search in Pics: Google cigar box guitar, branded airplane head covers & a skateboard

2017: 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’s AMP Top Stories Now Live In Mobile Search Results

2016: The AMP news carousel launched for everyone, although some people started seeing these pages early.

Google “Send To Your Phone” Comes To Local Knowledge Graph Search Box

2016: Google added the “Send to your phone” feature, which was on the Google Maps interface, directly in the search results.

Google Now Warns You Before You Visit Sites That Contain Harmful Downloads

2015: Google released a new security measure to warn users before they visited sites containing nefarious downloads.

AdWords Spring Cleaning Coming: Detritus Be Gone, But You’ll Have to Think Before You Remove

2015: Unused ads, ad groups and campaigns would be deleted and “remove” would be a permanent move across the board.

Google Gives Businesses More Photo Control With My Business Upgrade

2015: New photo section included the ability to choose between profile, logo and cover images as display for maps and search.

Google Search Tests “Chat” Button In Local Business Box

2015: Google was testing showing a live chat button in the local search box within the web search results for some businesses.

No Whammies! Google To Test Social Casino Game Ads

2015: The ads would appear across Google ad networks including mobile apps, search, display and video.

Local Search Provider YP Offers All-Inclusive PPC Search Product For SMBs

2015: It combined YP’s own PPC-search inventory with paid-search ads on Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Google Targets Two Polish Link Networks While Continuing To Target German Link Networks

2014: Google’s Matt Cutts announced that Google had taken action on two link networks operated in Poland. 

Google’s Matt Cutts: We Reserve The Right To Use EXIF Data For Image Search Rankings

2014: Cutts answered: “Does Google use EXIF data from pictures as a ranking factor?”

Google To Look Into Movie Blogs Losing Traffic

2014: About eight different movie blog sites, including, had apparently lost traffic in Google.

DoubleClick Search Adds Integration With Channel Intelligence For Product Feed Management

2014: Google announced that Channel Intelligence’s feed management and optimization capabilities would integrate with the DoubleClick Search Commerce Suite.

The Blink HTML Google Easter Egg

2014: All you needed to do was search for [blink html] to activate it.

Bing Tags Hangs It Up & Shuts Down

2014: Bing Public Tags were no longer available and all existing tags were removed from Bing.

Bing Updates iPhone App With New Search Widget, Bookmarks Manager & Shake Feature

2014: Bing announced a series of updates for its iPhone app, including a search widget to help with navigation, new image tiles, and a shake feature to see what stories are trending.

AdGooroo Adds Mobile Paid Search Spend Insights, Releases List Of Top Mobile Search Advertisers

2014: Additional mobile insights included ad copy, impressions and clicks, click-through rates, costs-per-click at the campaign and keyword level.

Concert Rich Snippets: List Your Ticket Sale Site Under Band Web Sites

2012: The rich snippets would show upcoming concert tour dates in your area underneath a band’s website on Google’s SERPs.

In Chomp, Apple Gains A Social Search Engine For Apps

2012: Chomp, acquired for an unconfirmed $50 million, was dedicated to solving the problem of app discovery.

Search In Pics: Life-Size Google+ Circles, Google Tinfoil Office & Church Signs

2012: 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’s Action Against Paid Links Continues: Overstock & Forbes Latest Casualties; Conductor Exits Brokering Business

2011: Overstock created a program in which they provided discounts to products in exchange for links (with specific anchor text to specific URLs) from .edu sites.

Google Takes First Big Bite Into Rich Snippet Search With Recipes

2011: Google rolled out recipe search, taking advantage of the structured data to launch a whole category with the same prominence as image and video search.

AdWords Advertisers Can Now Optimize By Conversions

2011: Google let AdWords advertisers automatically optimize what ads displayed most based on conversion rates.

Google At Loggerheads With Swiss Over Street View Images

2011: Swiss privacy officials wanted Google to blur every face in Street View, even by hand if necessary. 

Bing Integrates Facebook Likes Further Into Its Search Results

2011: Bing integrated Facebook Likes within its regular search results, similar to a move that Google made with social “shares” from Twitter and other platforms.

Bing Tiles: Interactive Images In Search Results

2011: Tiles were interactive logos or images displayed next to a search result. 

A New Search Engine for Hotel Rooms: Room 77 Launches

2011: The site was creating and indexing data on hotels in the US and UK that qualify with three stars and above.

Google Real Time Search Now Shows Updates From Facebook Fan Pages

2010: Google’s Real Time Search gained a new data source, updates from Facebook fan pages.

Italian Court Finds Google Execs Guilty Of Violating Privacy Code

2010: Three Google executives were found guilty of criminal charges over a bullying video that appeared on the Google Video service. 

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Yelp Alleging “Extortion”

2010: Yelp had allegedly attempted to “extort” money from small businesses by offering to remove negative reviews in exchange for payment.

Yahoo To Offer Dayparting, Demographic Targeting & Display Ads Based On Searches

2009: New products included search retargeting, enhanced retargeting and enhanced targeting.

MapQuest Launches Mobile Personalization

2009: My Places for MapQuest4Mobile offered a rich user experience and the ability to save maps and directions.

Search Queries Are Getting Longer: Hitwise Report

2009: More than half of all search queries were at least three words long, and more than a third were four words or longer.

comScore: Search Behavior Is A Sign Of The Times

2009: Searches for terms related to the economic struggles rose dramatically during 2008.

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.

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