November 26, 2012

2012 year in review: Important shifts in Google SEO

In the last year, Google made more changes to how they display search engine results than ever before. Google wants to simplify the search results for the average user while maximizing its income opportunities. And it wants to personalize the results, too, with more emphasis on local and friends.

Two words I frequently saw or heard this year were reputation and trust. I am writing about the credibility of a website’s content, design, and external links, not reputation management as an SEO service.

Since day one, Google and its fellow search engines promoted consistent quality while criticizing trickeries. What changed is Google can police bad behavior more effectively and broadly than ever before. Google got teeth.

In the past, Google shied away from notifying domains about their black hat webspam via Webmaster Tools. This changed in April when the search engine expanded the types of messages and warnings it sends.

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