There has been a lot of SEO news coming out in the last month so it is time to give a recap over the major events.
First a milestone as Bing reaches it’s 5th birthday. Launched in 2009 – Bing has grown from 8% market share to almost 19% of the world-wide search market. However, most of the growth has been at the expense of Yahoo instead of Google. SearchEngineLand has a nice recap of all of it.
The biggest SEO news lately was the official launch of Panda 4.0 – with Google’s Matt Cutts announcing the rollout via Twitter. Panda was originally launched in February 2011 partially in response to content-farms. This new update has been categorized as a “softer and gentler” update – although some sites have appeared to have gotten hammered badly.
Whether from the Panda update or other factors, sites like Ask.com, eBay and Biography.com all got slapped pretty hard as shown on SearchEngineLand. Moz Blog dug deep into the eBay drop and it appears some of the drops may not only be from algorithm updates, but also from manual action from Google.
Google also launched an update to their “Payday Loan Algorithm” that specifically targets highly spammy queries.
Perhaps as a 5th birthday present, Bing gained a win over at Apple and will become integrated into a new version of Spotlight in Apple’s new “Yosemite” release of OS-X. This follows on last year when Bing knocked Google out of Siri. Microsoft director of Bing’s search Stefan Weitz stated:
“Last year Bing became the default web search for Siri, and will now also be the default web search provider in the redesigned Spotlight search feature for the next generation of iOS and OS X. We’re excited about extending the Bing platform to help iOS and Mac customers find what they need to get things done.”
Apple also announced at it’s WWDC that DuckDuckGo, which positions itself as a completely secure and private search engine, it becoming part of Safari in the next versions of Mac OS and iOS as an option that users can choose. Although still a fairly tiny part of the overall search market, DuckDuckGo has been making big strides lately with user’s privacy concerns in the post-Snowden world.
Apple seems to be trying to ween people off of Google and although much of it is to keep their options open and issues with Android, some wonder if Apple may be moving towards turning Siri into its own branded search engine – although such is just speculation currently.