SEO – This day in search marketing history: January 20

SEO - This day in search marketing history: January 20

Matt Cutts sticks a fork in guest blogging

In 2014, Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s webspam team, took to his personal blog with a clear message: “Stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy.”

This wasn’t the first time Google or Cutts had discussed the risks of guest blogging. See:

However, this was a clear, strong and definitive message – and one that would be discussed for many months to come. Google’s webspam team was going to take a “pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward.”

Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.

Matt Cutts, The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO

Cutts’ post got hundreds of comments and sparked lots of discussion on social media. As a result, Cutts edited his post to clarify that he wasn’t referring to “high-quality multi-author blogs.” He also added “for SEO” to the title of his post.

Also on this day 

Google Ads launches placement reports for Performance Max campaigns

2022: Placement reports could be generated to see where ads had served for Performance Max campaigns as well as how many impressions they received.

Semrush acquires SEO training website Backlinko

2022: Backlinko founder Brian Dean and his colleagues would create and curate original content for the Semrush Academy

The latest data on the January 2020 Google core update

2020: With Google’s January 2020 core update mostly rolled out, several data providers shared their findings on the impact of the algorithm update.

Former Google search chief Amit Singhal joins Uber

2017: Singhal became a senior vice president of engineering, overseeing Uber’s Maps & Marketplace departments.

Search in Pics: Indoor lifeguard tower, tractor & wall art

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.

Study: Quality Backlinks & Comprehensive Content Are Still Biggest Factors In Google Rankings

2016: A study of more than one million search results uncovered a handful of ranking commonalities that were prevalent across Google’s top content.

Google Search Console Adds AMP Error Report

2016: The report let you drill down to specific error types and URLs.

Report: 2014 Was A Bad Year For Lyrics Sites In Google

2015: And 2015 was looking to be even worse for this niche.

Google Overtakes Traditional Media To Become Most Trusted News Source

2015: Google’s brand strength around the world was also likely a factor in these rankings. 

What Time Is The State Of The Union? White House Uses SEO To Spread The Word

2015: Neither Google nor Bing were showing direct answers. You just got a list of web results.

Bing Tests New News Card That Expands

2015: Searching in Bing for news-related terms would bring up a box/card, with an arrow at the bottom of the box that enabled users to click to expand to show more news. 

Yahoo Sees Big 1.6% Monthly Search Share Gain At Google’s Expense In New comScore Data

2015: The gain was likely attributable to Yahoo’s Firefox default search deal.

Expedia Lost 25% Of Their Search Visibility In Google Possibly Over Unnatural Links

2014: Expedia saw large SEO visibility declines for many keywords, including hotels, airline tickets, car rentals and vacation.

Google Remarketing Ads Found To Violate Canadian Privacy Law; To Revamp Ad Review System By June

2014: Google said it rejected all active retargeting campaigns involving CPAP devices and increased searches of active retargeting campaigns potentially related to sensitive interest categories.

Searching For Gmail In Google Links You To Compose A Message To A Google Apps User

2014: This only happened if you saw the sitelink and you were logged into a Google Account.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Google Logo Marks Holiday Honoring Civil Rights Hero

2014: The illustrated Doodle included a profile of Martin Luther King, Jr., images of doves to represent King’s 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, and the Lincoln Memorial where King made his iconic “I Have a Dream” civil rights speech.

An Interview With A Google Search Quality Rater

2012: We learned about the hiring process, what Quality Raters looked for when they examined websites, details of the different evaluation tasks they did and much more.

“Ask On Google+” Links Appearing In Google’s Search Results

2012: Google encouraged people to ask their friends about [insert search query here] on Google+.

Bing’s New Ad Campaign: Bing Is For #Doing

2012: Rather than promoting the idea of making decisions, the new campaign was about people doing interesting things.

Wolfram|Alpha Scores Again With Rich NFL Data

2012: National Football League statistics came to Wolfram|Alpha.

Search In Pics: Google Boxers, 90+ Million Google+ & Gundotra Google+ Cadbury Bar

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.

Was It Time For A Fresh Face? Thoughts On Larry Page As The New Google CEO

2011: Some reflection on how Eric Schmidt came into the role that Page once held and why the company may have made the change.

Google’s $8B Earnings Overshadowed By Leadership Change

2011: In Q4 2010, Google reported revenues of $8.44 billion, 26% year-on-year growth. Full year revenues exceeded $29 billion. 

Google’s Eric Schmidt: “2011 All About Mobile”

2011: Geolocation on smartphones enabled contexual personalization and a range of new possibilities and user experiences. But to realize that vision, three infrastructure elements were needed.

Confirmed: Google Readies “Google Offers” Groupon Clone

2011: This happened not long after Google’s failed bid to acquire Groupon for nearly $6 billion.

Spain To Google: Anyone Can Potentially Censor Your Index

2011: If anyone could make a request that some piece of information about him or herself be removed it would represent a radical change for Spain and for Google, but also Bing, Yahoo and others.

Google Dominates Top Free iPhone Apps In iTunes

2011: Of the top 10 free iPhone apps of all time, two of them were from Google.

Google Voice Tests Number Porting: Turning Point For The Service?

2011: Though it was only available in a test to a limited number of users, number porting was coming soon to everyone with a Google Voice account.

John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address Google Logo

2011: Google designed the Doodle using the words from his speech. In addition, Google incorporated their middle G, made up of the words of his speech, as a picture of John F. Kennedy.

Google AdWords Allows Advanced Mobile Targeting & App Downloads

2010: Advertisers could specify the device type and carrier they wanted to target their ads to. Also, advertisers could automatically market their apps as direct downloads in the iTunes App Store or Android Market via AdWords.

Google Buys Search Ad In Response To The China Decision

2010: For “Google Leaves China” or “Google vs. Baidu.”

SEOmoz Launches Open Site Explorer, A Competitor (Replacement?) To Yahoo Site Explorer

2010: It showed stats such as overall link counts and a count of domains that link to a URL, along with anchor text distribution and more.

Take The Google Webmaster Quiz

2010: “Fun and educational.” 

Report: Microsoft And Apple Discuss Making Bing Default Engine On The iPhone

2010: Microsoft was seen as a pawn in the battle between Apple and Google.

Bing Silverlight Maps Comes Out Of Beta With New “Destination Maps” And Local Events Apps

2010: One click got users to a list and locations for local event in the desired (US) city

Wired: Monopoly, Microsoft And The Anti-Google ‘Conspiracy’

2009: The article presents Microsoft as the driving force, along with other allies, behind an effort to stop Google’s further dominance in search (via the Yahoo deal) after its own failed bid for Yahoo.

Should Google Let Advertisers Opt-Out Of Google’s Own Properties?

2009: A simple list of properties would give advertisers more control in a day and age where Google wants to show more ads in less relevant spaces.

Google PageRank: A Strange Case Of Hyves

2009: Supposedly, you could check if Google had penalized a domain by adding the word hyves as a subdomain and then checking the PageRank of that subdomain.

Report: Google Leads U.S. Search Advertising Market With 76% Market Share

2009: Based on an analysis of 92 billion impressions and 600 million clicks.

Google Closes The Presses On Print Ads

2009: They discontinued this service because it was “not the right solution.”

Despite Inauguration, Google & Others Still Think It’s President Bush, Not President Obama

2009: The major search engines had yet to catch up with the power change.

SEM Vendors Launches & Other Ways To Find SEM Companies

2009: If you were looking for an SEM company, you could just fill out the form and SEM vendors would be able to pitch their services to you. Aims To Simplify Local Search Marketing

2009: operated with a simple premise: It should be as easy as possible for small businesses to find and claim their business listings on local search engines. 

Google & Firefox 2 Anti-Phishing Warning In Action

2007: What a phishing warning actually looked like through the Google – Firefox 2 partnership. (It
was also an incorrect warning.)

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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