18th anniversary of the roundtable on search engines


For the past 18 years, I’ve written on this site, covering what you search marketers are talking about. Today marks the 18th anniversary of the Search Engine Roundtable. I have written about research for over 40% of my life, which is strange to think. And I have been doing this regularly every working day, several times a day, even during a pandemic, for 17 years. It’s hard for me to understand that I can still find several new things to write every day.

18 years of passion:

18 years ago I started this site as a way to take notes on what the search marketing community was talking about. A roundtable discussion among the smartest minds in search marketing, if you will. That passion and mission hasn’t changed – I’m still trying to cover what is buzzing in the search marketing community, what interests them, and what the community is saying about these changes in our space. It is less present in forums these days, as unfortunately most of the old-fashioned online forums have slowed down, but social media platforms have taken their place – that doesn’t mean all forums are over – They are not. But the community is chatting and discussing and I’m trying my best to find this discussion and highlight it here for all of you.

I still continue to post multiple stories here per day and on Search engine. I still produce my weekly video recaps, which I think have improved a lot lately (make sure to subscribe to the youtube channel). I also continued to do the research vlog where I try to get more attention to new and maybe old individuals in our community, this has been a challenge during COVID with social distancing, the issues travel and the lack of face-to-face conferences. I also now post these videos on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts or your favorite podcast player. Don’t forget the fun daily photos and big monthly Google webmaster reports. These are all aimed at saving you time, while also catching you up on new topics and making you smile at the same time.

A year ago we were on the verge of a vaccine and hope life will return to normal. Now we are not only talking about 3rd dose, but 4th dose to keep us safe. We have two antiviral drugs on the verge of approval to fight COVID and hopefully by the same time next year we can start to get back to normal – but who knows, that’s like trying to predict Google algorithm updates.

If you want, you can read last year’s recap – the 17th anniversary of the Search Engine Roundtable.

Our growth (I mean decline) and our analyzes:

While in 2019 we saw a 25% growth in traffic, this year we saw a 13% drop in traffic. Search traffic is down over 30%, but our direct traffic is up 22%, email traffic is up 360%, and other channels are up as well. Diversification is therefore important with Google. properties that consume SEO traffic (and well done to them, I really mean it).

Traffic on mobiles and desktops is now roughly equal, we are 47% on mobiles and 51% on desktops along with the rest of tablets which means more traffic on desktops than on mobiles compared to the previous year.

There are now over 32,000 stories on this site, I’ve written over 29,600 – about 93% of them. I posted around 2,000 stories this year alone, which is a hundred more stories than last year. We’ve also had around 12,000 approved comments posted this year on the stories, which is roughly the same as last year as well.

With YouTube, my channel – please subscribe has over 2,200 new subscribers (currently approximately 12,900 subscribers). I obviously made an effort to develop this channel. I have over 6.4 million views on these videos, with over 54 hours of viewing time. Oh, and I made just under $ 1,600 in ad revenue on YouTube last year, which is $ 200 more than last year. Although, if you look you will see that I have video sponsors now – thanks to the sponsors!

Most Important Stories from the Last 12 Months:

Looking back to 2021, it’s clear that it has been a year of many confirmed updates to the Google search algorithm and rankings. We had three main updates – June, July, and November. We have had a number of spam updates; including a November Spam Update, Two-Part Spam Update, Link Spam Update, and Predator Update. We’ve had other updates like the page experience update, April product reviews update and December product review update, and title changes . We also had a number of AI / machine learning based algorithms like MUM, passage ranking, subtopic rankings and a few from Bing like MEB and Speller100.

Indexing has gotten interesting with IndexNow that even Google can try. Google has spent an enormous amount of time and resources on their help documents and resources, so it’s no wonder they rank so well now. Search Console has a new design and Search Console Insights has also officially launched. Google has rolled out continuous scrolling and Google My Business profiles for Google Business.

Plus, we’ve had tons of industry moves, IPOs, acquisitions, and organizational changes. And it’s also sad, but we have lost several very respected and loved members of the industry.

There has been a lot that I have written, like I said above, but here are what I think are the most important stories over the past 12 months or so (if I missed any, let me know in the comments):

Linked search algorithm:

Exploration and indexing: SEO: Google Search Console: Bing Webmaster Tools: Search features: Search ads: Local search: Business and industry: RIP:

Most viewed stories over the past 12 months:

Here are the most viewed stories over the past 12 months of 2021 based on Google Analytics. I should note that my analyzes do not combine AMP URLs with the canonical non-AMP URL, so this may not be in the exact order of popularity:

Until 2022:

Last year I said it was about IoT, search capabilities in multimedia and of course BERT and all the other stuff around natural language processing. I also said that 2021 will be a lot about health, safety “and hopefully vaccines”. But understanding natural language will be really impressive – I mean, indexing passages should be fun. The mobile is here and finished, with mobile indexing completely shifted in a few months. And it was a big year, we had announced MUM, although it was not used much in 2021 – the Search On event showed a few applications of its use.

I’m expecting a ton of Google announcements around MUM and more AI / machine learning efforts in search in 2022. You’ll see more with local search, you’ll see more with multimedia and all that.

But the big change for us SEOs, I really think there will be a really big overhaul of the quality algorithms. Like Panda, Penguin, and Core, the updates are important, but this one will target a lot of the criticisms Google has made over the past year regarding the quality of its search.

Thank you:

Like I said last year, I deeply appreciate and thank you all for reading everyday, commenting (or ignoring comments), and sharing the stories here. Keep chatting and let’s build an even better research community this coming year. Everyone stays safe and healthy!

Thank you,

Barry schwartz

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