PPC – This day in search marketing history: January 13

PPC - This day in search marketing history: January 13

Matt Cutts educates Washington, DC about Google

In 2011, Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s search spam team, was in Washington DC, doing an “educational tour” to explain to US Federal Trade Commission members and congressional staffers that Google’s search results didn’t require government regulation.

Part of his visit included a 89-page slide presentation, called “Search Integrity,” at Google’s Washington, D.C. offices.

Cutts said the same thing that Google had been telling the search marketing community for years – that Google’s results are determined by an algorithm and not tweaked to get particular sites ranking well.

“The only reasons I know of to go in and change [search rankings] manually is for security, a court order or spam. It is impossible to pay for a better ranking.”

Matt Cutts, as quoted in The Washington Post

Read all about it in Mr. Cutts Goes To Washington, Testifies Google Has Integrity.

Also on this day 

IndexNow now officially co-sharing URLs between Microsoft Bing and Yandex

2022: If you used IndexNow to submit URLs to Microsoft Bing, Microsoft would immediately share those URLs with Yandex.

DuckDuckGo passes 100 billion searches

2022: The privacy focused search engine announced it had surpassed 100 billion all time searches.

Google pauses all political ads through inauguration

2021: Ads mentioning politics, impeachment, the inauguration, and the insurrection at the US Capitol were all being halted.

Google January 2020 Core Update rolling out later today

2020: Google announced it was releasing a broad core algorithm update called the January 2020 Core Update.

Google Rich Results testing tool now reports on unloadable embedded resources

2020: The tool could now report unloadable embedded resources, such as external elements included by a page.

Google’s ‘My Business Provider’ program replaces ‘Trusted Verifier’ for GMB outreach

2020: Agencies, SEOs, and resellers were not eligible for this program. And the proposed MBP “must not have access to the business listings they are verifying.”

Google rolling out desktop search redesign with black “Ad” label, favicons for organic results

2020: After several months of being live in the Google mobile results, Google launched the new design on desktop.

Responsive search ads available globally in all Microsoft Advertising interfaces

2020: Microsoft recommended running up to five ads per ad group, including at least one RSA.

Video: William Álvarez on the importance of structured data and Google search

2020: In this installment of Barry Schwartz’s vlog series, he chats with Álvarez about why structured data will be important in the future and his passion for mentoring SEOs.

Zhou Youguang Google doodle honors Chinese linguist known as the ‘Father of Pinyin’

2018: The animated doodle highlighted Youguang’s work by flipping the Os within Google’s name from Pinyin (Gǔgē) to Chinese characters (谷歌) and led to a search for “Zhou Youguang.”

Search in Pics: Google Bollywood car, orange tree & indoor bike parking

2017: The latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have and more.

SEOs Confused, Puzzled After Google’s Mystery Update

2016: A summary of some of the questions, answers and additional confusion around the most recent Google core algorithm update and Panda becoming part of Google’s core ranking signals.

Bing Adds An Internet Speed Test Tool To The Search Results

2016: Some users were seeing the new feature on Bing when searching for [speed test] or [internet speed test]. 

Google Maps For Android Gets “Driver Mode” Feature To Anticipate Your Next Stop

2016: The new feature would anticipate where a user wanted to go and advise how best to get there.

Bing Predicts Launches AreWeIn.net For NCAA March Madness Basketball Fans

2018: The site offered daily analysis of NCAA basketball teams, predicting whether they would make the tournament and how they would finish. 

LinkedIn Gives Search A Promotion By Adding Better Post Results & Richer, Personalized Listings

2015: LinkedIn’s new customized search functionality was designed to help you find people, jobs or posts faster.

Ryanair CEO Claims Airline Is Working With Google On A Flight Search & Comparison Tool

2014: Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said his airline has entered a partnership with Google, and was providing the search engine with flight pricing to help build a travel search and comparison tool.

Bing Begins Supporting Separately SSL Search Site; No Referrers Pass

2014: If you conducted a search on Bing, while on the HTTPS URL, it would remain HTTPS and keep your searches secure.

Google: Ability To Block Sites From Search Results Will Return, But When?

2012: The ability to block web sites from search results disappeared when Google’s Search Plus personalized results format launched.

Q4 Reports: Search Advertising Growing In Efficiency

2012: Four reports all pointed to an overwhelmingly successful fourth quarter in 2011 for major search advertisers in a number of verticals.

Search Alliance Begins First AdCenter Testing In Europe

2012: The first testing for the roll-out was to commence mid-January and involve up to 10% of Yahoo’s traffic in France, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Report: FTC Expanding Anti-Trust Investigation Of Google To Include Google+

2012: So said “people familiar with the situation.”

Bing Tests New Bottom Home Page Bar

2012: The new bar added a Popular Now, Weather, Image and Video boxes.

Google’s SPYW, Kenya Imbroglios An “Ink Blot” Test For Google As Good Or Evil

2012: A local search/directory startup said Google crawled its site for local business sales leads and then falsely claimed in cold calls to those businesses it had a partnership with the publisher to sign them up.

Search In Pics: Google Cockroach, Cutts With Horse Mask & Google Beer Pong

2012: The latest images culled from the web, 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 Now #1 Search Engine In Czech Republic; 5 Countries To Go For Global Domination

2011: The Czech Republic was one of six countries (along with Russia, Japan, China, Taiwan and South Korea) where Google wasn’t the dominant search engine.

Bing Now Powering Yahoo Search In 3 More Countries

2011: Bing was now powering the Yahoo back-end for organic search in Australia, Brazil and Mexico.

Bing Enhances Auto Instant Answers with Car Listings

2011: Bing added new and used car listings in a self-contained autos-shopping page that kept users within the Bing experience.

Experian Hitwise: Bing Searches Up 5% In December 2010

2011: From November to December 2010, Bing.com saw a 5% increase in search activity, while Bing-powered searches also rose 2%

Google’s New China Plan: Target Display Advertisers, Report Says

2011: Under the new game plan, Google was targeting Chinese firms to advertise on its dominant overseas search market, a business which already constitutes about half of its China revenues.

Europeans Go “Fishing” For Bad Google Behavior In Anti-Trust Inquiry

2011: A 120 question document sought “to ascertain whether Google manipulated search results and used its popular platform to keep business and disadvantage rivals in online advertising and Internet search.”

Topsy Launches Brand-Friendly Twitter Widgets

2011: Topsy’s Social Modules were embeddable widgets that brought Twitter content to any website.

AdWords Display URL Policy Change For Hosted Domains

2010: For sites hosted on a blogspot.com, wordpress.com or similar type of domain, Google wanted advertisers to show the subdomain portion of the domain, in addition to the main domain.

Google Ranks Real-Time Tweets Based On Followers?

2010: It wasn’t just about the number of Twitter followers, but also who the “reputed followers” were, according to Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow.

Google’s China Gambit: Day Two Reaction

2010: A sampling of a wide variety of reactions and responses to the news that Google could potentially pull out of China if it cannot operate without censorship.

Nielsen: Yahoo, Bing Down, Google Up in December

2010: Gains by Google, a minor gain by AOL, and declines for Yahoo and Bing. 

Harvard Professor Details New, ‘Insidious’ Form Of Google Click Fraud

2010: One of Google’s more vocal critics says the company should cut its ties with InfoSpace over what he called “a particularly insidious kind of click fraud” that involves a fairly complex combination of paid ads, affiliate traffic brokering, and spyware. 

Baidu: The Official Google Blog You Seek Does Not Exist (& Don’t Even Try Looking For It)

2010: Anyone searching for the official Google blog post about Google deciding to leave China over censorship was unable to find it on China’s leading search engine, Baidu.

Think Like A Blackhat By Matt Cutts

2009: A 20-minute video where Cutts went over what he considered to be virtual “blight” (link spam, open landing pages and hacking). Cutts also showed how to think like a spammer.

Autodesk’s Carol Bartz Named New Yahoo CEO; Sue Decker To Leave As President

2009: Bartz was praised for her management and deal brokering skills but had never run an internet company, and had no advertising background.

Help Google Find ‘Empty Review Sites’

2009: Cutts said these pages might run afoul of Google’s webmaster guidelines, and gave specific instructions for reporting this kind of page to Google’s spam team.

Obama Stimulus, Predictions And Search

2009: In retrospect, it appeared that relative search query volumes (Obama vs. McCain) did presage the outcome of the November election. And it appeared they predicted the recession.

Ask.com Partners With NASCAR, Says “Super Verticals” Will Put It Back In Search Race

2009: Coming soon: A NASCAR search engine? Ask also becomes the official search engine of NASCAR.

Google Maps Adds Public Transit Data In 50 Cities

2009: Once selected, the Transit Layer would display public transportation lines/routes for the area you were viewing.

Spice Up Your ASCII AdWords Campaign With Animated ASCII URLs

2009: How one agency created animated racing ASCII cars in the browser address bar using JavaScript.

From Search Marketing Expo (SMX)

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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About the author

Danny Goodwin

Danny Goodwin is Managing Editor of Search Engine Land & SMX. In addition to writing daily about SEO, PPC, and more for Search Engine Land, Goodwin also manages Search Engine Land’s roster of subject-matter experts. He also helps program our conference series, SMX – Search Marketing Expo.

Prior to joining Search Engine Land, Goodwin was Executive Editor at Search Engine Journal, where he led editorial initiatives for the brand. He also was an editor at Search Engine Watch. He has spoken at many major search conferences and virtual events, and has been sourced for his expertise by a wide range of publications and podcasts.

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