December 31st, 2007 Jason
I’m not saying these are the ‘top 5 most important’ changes of 2007, I’m just pointing out some things I’ve seen as significant. There’s certainly more (like the whole paid links debate), but I’m on holiday, so I’m stopping at 5 I find worth mentioning. In no particular order:
- No more supplemental index
Supposedly, this means more relevant results for all searches, all the time. (Interesting, since I thought that was the goal anyway…) But probably a key thing here is more relevance for foreign language queries as well, which may ‘translate’ into Google getting a bigger slice of the bits of foreign search they don’t already have. I think it will also mean less confusion about just how deeply/thoroughly a site is indexed.
Sphinn is no Digg. Only SEO’s are going to see any traffic boost from Sphinn; it’s not something that Bob’s Widgets is going to try to game for traffic and links. But it has quickly become invaluable as a means of connecting the vast network of search marketers out there and bringing attention to important and interesting news or opinion…without having to monitor eight hundred blogs every day.
- Universal search results
Of course, with Google’s acquisition of YouTube happening this year as well, it followed that YouTube content would start getting a higher visibility in the SERPs, but Google and Yahoo! both started integrating video, news, and image results into the ‘main’ results page this year, and it all seemed conspicuously timed as a response to Ask’s big facelift. But it’s much more than a presentational change; it’s really completely affected how search marketing works and shifted the focus of what’s important to get noticed and rank well.
Sure, Facebook has been around for a few years, but it was this year that anybody with an email address (i.e., not an academic one) could join, and it blew up into the place to be. And now everybody and their dog’s company thinks they need to build a Facebook app. I think it remains to be seen whether a good Facebook app has real SEO benefit, but it can a big deal for brand recognition, which of course can have a real downstream impact on what people are searching for.
- I got a job
Okay, this is a cheese-out, but it’s true. Landing in SEO seems to have really taken all the bits of technology and marketing and general geekery I’ve been cobbling together over the years and focused them all into a very clear path.