This day in search marketing history: February 26

Google expands mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal

In 2015, Google announced it would expand its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, beginning April 21.

This algorithmic change would have a “significant impact” in the mobile search results, impacting all languages worldwide, Google said.

However, when April came, the general consensus was that Mobilegeddon was fairly insignificant, for all the hype and panic their Feb. 26 announcement created.

Google also announced that apps indexed by Google through App Indexing would begin to rank better in mobile search. Google said this only will work for signed-in users who had the app installed on their mobile device.

Read all about it in Mobilegeddon Cometh: New Google “Mobile Friendly Update” To Reward Sites Beginning April 21.

Also on this day

How to identify your products for Google

2021: Google published a list of best practices to help ensure that its search engine understood the products that were being referenced. 

Google mobile-first indexing to be applied to all sites within a year

2020: Google was sending notices to sites that had mobile-first indexing issues. 

Create display network exclusion lists with this (free) tool

2020: A tool for those tired of manually weeding through placement reports to exclude inappropriate websites and apps from display campaigns.

Google Search Console now lets you export more data

2020: Search Console users could download complete information (instead of just specific table views) from almost all reports.

Google search view in 3D now live for e-commerce sites

2020: A Burberry bag was showing up with a “view in 3D” option in the Google search results.

Google to kill off property sets within Search Console

2019: Google said you could download the data from the interface or the API before they turned it off completely.

Google Ads to sunset average position reporting metric later this year

2019: Average position was one of the few constants for more than 15 years. But with the removal of right rail ads, in particular, its utility sharply declined.

Google call-only ads getting ‘expanded’ with more characters

2019: The other change was that name of the business would move to the description line.

Google releases Mobile Scorecard & Impact Calculator tools to illustrate importance of mobile page speed

2018: One tool showed how a site stacks up against the competition on mobile. The other aimed to drive home the impact mobile speed can have on the bottom line.

Google confirms bug with crawl stats in ‘time spent downloading a page’ Search Console report

2018: Google’s John Mueller confirmed a reporting glitch with the crawl stats “time spent downloading a page” report in the Google Search Console for on Feb. 20 and 21.

In response to EU antitrust ruling, Google Shopping now shows ads from competing shopping engines

2018: In a new structure, the Google Shopping business unit bid against other Comparison Shopping Engines in the ad auction to give the competing engines “equal treatment” as mandated in the ruling.

Google Word Coach, a fun word game in the search results

2018: Google added a new feature to help non-English speakers expand their English-language vocabulary. 

Google: AMP Not Yet A Search Ranking Signal

2016: Google’s John Mueller said you could use AMP to become mobile-friendly, but AMP itself was not a ranking signal.

Google Confirms Review Stars’ Mysterious Disappearance In Search Results Was A Bug

2016: Google review snippets returned after a bug caused them to drop out of much of the search results for about a week.

AdWords And Bing Ads Both Having Late-Week Reporting Troubles

2016: Google AdWords reports weren’t downloading or printing. Bing Ads had reporting delays that affected the Web UI, mobile and API.

Google App Updates Will Include New Animations & Ability To Change Google Logo Colors

2016: Users would be able to change the color of the Google logo using a “finger painting-like” feature.

Search In Pics: Coca Cola Google Cardboard, Googley Volvo & Animated Google Sign

2016: 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 Matt Cutts: While Scientific Content Is Great, Clarity & Focusing On The Searcher Is Important

2014: Cutts answers the question: “Should I focus on clarity or jargon when writing content?”

Movie Sites Ranking Better In Google, Now That “Transient Issue” Fixed

2014: Rankings were restored and most traffic was returning to the affected websites.

Hiding From That Google Penalty? It May Find You At Your New Home

2014: Even if you moved your penalized site to a new domain name and didn’t redirect the penalized site, Google might still find it and pass along the bad signals.

AdWords Flexible Conversion Counting Officially Launched, Welcome “Converted Clicks” and “Conversions”

2014: The company officially announced the launch of Flexible Conversion Counting, and advertisers would see new columns in AdWords.

Google Shares Performance Stats On Search Network With Display Select Campaigns

2014: Google released some case study performance results on the new campaign type.

FOX Partners With Google To Allow Voting For American Idol On Google’s Search Results

2014: All you had to do was go to Google, search for [american idol] or [idol] during the voting window, and select from your favorite finalists.

Google Brings Back Right-Click-For-Directions To Google Maps

2014: Users could also use the “What’s Here” option to quickly get lat-long coordinates for any spot on the map.

Baidu Posts 50 Pct. Revenue Growth But Shy Of Investor Hopes

2014: The company announced $1.573 billion in Q4 revenue, a 50.3% increase over 2013.

Welcome Martin Beck, Who Joins Third Door Media From The Los Angeles Times

2014: Beck was Third Door Media’s Social Media Reporter from March 2014 through December 2015.

Google Panda Two Years Later: 5 Questions With HubPages CEO Paul Edmondson

2013: Edmonson confirmed that Panda “caused a massive loss of traffic and revenue.” But HubPages wasn’t planning to change course; the planned was to improve quality.

The Hidden Google Search Box

2013: It seemed as if Google was testing hiding the search box completely from the Google search results page.

Number Crunchers: Who Lost In Google’s Panda Algorithm Change?

2011: The biggest “content farm” type brand that seemed to have suffered was Associated Content.

Yes, More Are Seeing A New Google Look-And-Feel

2010: Testing would continue until May, when it launched the new user interface.

Google Adds “Nearby” Local Search To Options Panel

2010: Google expanded the choices in its Search Options panel with the announcement of a tool to refine searches by location.

Google’s Street View Finds More Trouble In Europe

2010: Members of the European Union’s data protection group urged Google to make changes to its Street View mapping/photo service and warned that Google might be breaking EU laws.

Google News Officially Adds Advertisements

2009: After testing ads for the past few months, Google News officially rolled out ads on Google News search results to all US based searchers.

Google Gets On Twitter

2009: The first tweet was in binary and translated into “Feeling Lucky.” 

Google Maps Adds User Photos To Street View

2009: Google added geo-tagged Panoramio photos to StreetView images.

Report: Lack Of Buying Searchers Leading To Depressing Search Ad Market

2009: Rimm-Kaufman shared early first quarter PPC data showing the weak trends in retail for search advertisers.

Yahoo Search Updating: Weather Reports Go Away?

2009: Yahoo eventually did issue a weather report confirming that there are ongoing updates that would be “completed very soon.”

Yahoo Adds Facebook As A SearchMonkey Friend

2009: Yahoo announced that Facebook enhanced results were now turned on by default across search results.

Yahoo CEO Bartz: New Management To Make Yahoo “A Lot Faster On Its Feet”

2009: “For us working at Yahoo!, it means everything gets simpler. We’ll be able to make speedier decisions, the notorious silos are gone, and we have a renewed focus on the customer.”

Google AdWords Launches Limited Beta Test Named “Automatic Matching”

2008: Automatic Matching was a way for Google to help advertisers utilize their full budget towards keywords that they may have not been targeting.

Google Updates AdSense Terms & Conditions

2008: Google updated their AdSense terms and conditions to include better verbiage for new products and features, as well as an update to their privacy requirements.

Despite Takeover Turmoil, Yahoo Not Rolling Over & Playing Dead

2008: Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang said the Microsoft takeover bid had been “a galvanizing event for everyone at Yahoo.”

Minimum Bids In Yahoo About To Change

2008: Minimum bids could be lower or higher than $0.10.

Yahoo To Announce “Search Monkey” Enhanced, Annotated Results At SMX West

2008: Yahoo planned to unveil a project code-named “Search Monkey,” a set of open-source tools that allow users and publishers to annotate and enhance search results associated with specific websites.

Yahoo Buzz Launches: Votes, Searches, & Emails Used To Rank News

2008: Yahoo Buzz was a site where “buzz-worthy” news articles were highlighted based on user votes,
searching activity, and email sharing. 

Google Talk / Gmail Adds Live Chat & Invisible Mode Features

2008: The first feature was similar to a live chat box that you could add to any webpage and chat with anyone via your Google Talk or Gmail account.

Google Joins “Unity” Undersea Cable Consortium For More Transpacific Bandwidth

2008: Google joined a consortium of Asian companies to build an undersea transpacific fiber optic cable that would provide much greater bandwidth capacity between the United States and Japan.

Google AdWords To Show Advertisers Exactly Where Their Contextual Ads Are Displayed

2007: Google’s advertiser reports would begin listing the sites where each ad runs.

Google Steps Up Web Page Malware Notifications

2007: Google was giving more detailed reports on the malware issues with a specific site and they were also sending email notifications to webmasters about these malware warnings.

Google Video Plus Box Results

2007: Spotted in the wild.

Google Checkout Australia Coming Soon?

2007: It appeared that Google registered Google Payment Australia PTY. LTD. in Australia.

Google Ordered To Change AdSense Contract By South Korea’s Watchdog

2007: The Fair Trade Commission said the contract enabled Google to “one-sidedly cancel advertisement deals” with publishers.

Microsoft To Buy Health Search Engine Medstory Inc.

2007: Microsoft plans on building out a specialized search engine focused on delivering medical information to consumers.

Video Search Challenge Isn’t Speech Recognition, It’s Content Owner Management

2007: The real challenge was figuring out how to work with content owners, not speech recognition.

Pew Research: Wireless Internet Grows

2007: Pew asserted that roughly 13.5% of U.S. Internet users were accessing the Internet over mobile phones (or their equivalents).

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.

< February 25 | Search Marketing History | February 27 >

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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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