This day in search marketing history: February 16

Table of Contents

Google’s John Mueller: Try to avoid link building

In 2015, Google’s John Mueller was asked on a Google+ hangout “is link building in any way good?” Mueller’s initial response: “in general, I’d try to avoid that.”

As with any Mueller answer, there was a bit more nuance to be found in his answer:

“So that you are really sure that your content kind of stands on its own and make it possible for other people to of course to link to your content. Make it easy, maybe, put a little widget on your page, if you like this, this is how you can link to it. Make sure that the URLs on your website are easy to copy and paste. All of those things make it a little bit easier.

We do use links as part of our algorithm, but we use lots and lots of other factors as well. So only focusing on links is probably going to cause more problems for your web site than it actually helps.”

And clearly, everyone in SEO has heeded all of Google’s advice about not doing link building, which is no longer a thing in SEO. Oh, wait.

Read all about it in Google: Try To Avoid Link Building Because It Can Do More Harm Than Good.


Also on this day


Google releases Data Studio Dashboard for Web Stories

2022: Google created a Data Studio sample template that provided an overview of how your Google Web Stories are performing. 


Google’s Privacy Sandbox, including the Topics API, is coming to Android

2022: Google was soliciting feedback for its initial design proposals and expected to launch in beta by the end of the year.


Smart Pages, Microsoft’s free site builder, is now available to US-based SMBs

2022: The company also announced feature updates, including video embeds and integration with Bing Maps.


Conductor acquires technical SEO monitoring tool ContentKing

2022: This is the first acquisition made by Conductor.


Facebook drops ‘News’ from News Feed in rebrand

2022: Facebook said the News Feed would simply be known as the Feed.


Facebook is still underreporting iOS web conversions, but not as much as before

2022: The social media company estimated that it is now underreporting conversions by 8%, down from 15% in September 2021.


TikTok’s brand safety center consolidates transparency updates, announcements and partnerships

2022: This resource was a convenient reference for brands to understand the platform’s brand safety options.


Google to transition to parallel tracking for Video ads by April 30

2021: Parallel tracking for Search campaigns took effect in 2018.


Google Partners clarifies why clients may be listed as ‘eligible users’ toward new certification requirement

2020: This was how to see who counted toward the new 50% certification rule and what to do about it.


NY federal court decision threatens embedding and linking across the web

2018: The judge’s decision disregarded existing law and if upheld would expose bloggers and publishers to potential copyright lawsuits.


Google says 100+ ad networks support AMP, releases 3rd-party technology support

2018: Real-Time Config component enabled integrations with other technology partners such as data management platforms and server-side header bidding without impacting speed.


Labels now available in Bing Ads Editor for Dynamic Search Ads

2018: Feature allowed advertisers to organize DSAs in a personalized way. 


Federal Election Commission proposal toughens political ads disclosure rules

2018: The rule would bring traditional media disclosure requirements to digital ads.


Search in Pics: Valentine’s Day at Google, giant light bright & no Googlers allowed sign

2018: 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.


No more free ride: Wall Street Journal pulls content out of Google’s “First Click Free” program

2017: The system allowed Google searchers to access a limited amount of news content without a paywall barrier.


Google rolls out 2013 Image Search design to more countries, webmasters complain of traffic loss

2017: Webmasters outside of the U.S. complained that their image search traffic from Google had dropped significantly.


Google is showing multiple ad extension types in a single swipeable carousel

2017: In a new experiment, swipeable cards featured sitelinks, callouts, ratings and more in a mobile text ad.


Yandex reports 22% YoY increase in revenue for Q4 2016

2017: Russia’s largest search engine generated $364.7 million for the last quarter of 2016, and averaged 55.4% share of the country’s search market.


Wikimedia Foundation: “We’re Not Building A Global Crawler Search Engine”

2016: Two executives refuted reports that Wikipedia was planning to build its own search engine to compete with Google.


Google Makes MyMaps App Improvements But Doesn’t Quite Make It There

2016: Google rebuilt and relaunched its MyMaps, a standalone app that allowed users to create and share custom maps.


Google Mobile Testing New Loading User Interface

2015: It experimented with new loading effects as you navigated throughout the search results.


Google Showing Fewer Than 10 Results For Some Searches?

2012: It appeared Google was testing showing fewer than the typical 10 web search results. Or possibly a bug.


Microsoft Security Patch Marked Google.com As Malware

2012: Some people who used Microsoft security software received a security patch that led to malware warnings for users trying to visit Google.com.


Blekko Testing Search Ads

2012: The ads were provided through ad fees from Google and Bing.


Report: 52% Of Local-Mobile Search Clicks Turned Into Calls

2012: The average CTRs in Q4 for local search ads were 7 percent, while locally targeted display ads yielded 0.6 CTRs.


Official: Google On How & When Ranking Penalties Are Removed

2011: Google’s Matt Cutts posted a video describing how and when Google will remove a search ranking penalty for a site.


After Google Warning, Forbes Comes Oh So Close To Cleaning Up Its Paid Links

2011: The “Resources” section of a page about E-business had several links that appeared to be the subject of Google’s notification.


Google On Toolbar: We Don’t Use Bing’s Searches

2011: Google reasserted that it didn’t use its toolbar to mine search behavior on other search engines in the way Bing was.


Automated Rules For AdWords Released For All Accounts

2011: Automated rules let advertisers set up certain actions (e.g., pausing ads, enabling ads, raising bids) in advance, to be triggered by certain events.


Texas Officials, Public Interest Lawyers Push For More Disclosures From Google

2011: Texas Attorney General’s office wanted to know Google’s formula for setting advertising rates and how it ranks sites.


Google One Pass: Publisher Payment System

2011: It enabled publishers to use Google to charge for content and subscriptions to their content.


Visualize Your Own Information With Google Public Data Explorer

2011:  Google opened up the Public Data Explorer for anyone to upload, share and visualize data sets.


Visualizing Google’s Dominance Of Mobile Advertising

2011: Google dominated mobile search and display.


Could Google Play Jeopardy Like IBM’s Watson?

2011: Google couldn’t play Jeopardy because despite knowing the answers to many questions, it literally didn’t know how to play the game.


Mapquest Takes On Google Navigation With Free Android App

2011: Mapquest released a free, voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation app for Android handsets.


Canadian Government Reviewing Google Buzz; U.S. Govt. Next?

2010: The public was concerned about privacy issues related to Google Buzz.


Is Facebook Becoming More Important Than Google?

2010: No, Facebook wouldn’t erode the importance of search and search marketing.


Google Believes It Has Ended (Some) Hijacked Listings In Google Maps

2009: Overall, hijacking was “rare”.


Google Shuts Down Business Pages For Mobile Ads

2009: It was a free service tied into mobile ad campaigns, and it included a “wizard” to simplify the creation of mobile business webpages.


Pros & Cons Of Google’s “Darwinian Approach” To Products

2009: The company introduced new products and services, generally without much promotion, and then it’s a version of “survival of the fittest.”


Yahoo Doesn’t Take Beef Over Akaushi Keyword Lawsuit

2009: The largest Akaushi cattle company outside of Japan sued Yahoo for selling the keyword “Akaushi”.


Yahoo Continues New Home Page Test, Adds More Apps & Lightens Colors

2009: The most significant change was that Yahoo had lightened up the page, based on user feedback.


Microsoft adCenter Desktop (Beta) Now Available To More Advertisers

2009: To be part of the beta, you had to be an advertiser based in U.S. or Canada with fewer than 100,000 keywords in your combined adCenter accounts.


Google AdWords Quality Score Has Major Bug

2007: A bug made good performing ads prices spike.


Pause Individual Ads or Keywords In AdWords But Are There Bugs?

2007: Some paused campaigns were not completely paused and advertisers were getting billed for clicks and impressions.


Google Buys Adscape For $23 Million

2007: Google wanted to begin venturing into placing ads within video games and the like.


Google Reader Reporting Subscriber Numbers, Offers New Publishers Guide

2007: Google provided subscriber counts, the number of people who read your blog through feeds at Google Reader or the Google Personalized Homepage.


Contact Google Via Legal Action: Texas School Left No Options?

2007: An IP block change was a “minor annoyance” for searchers but a nightmare for the network infrastructure manager’s team.


Yahoo’s Jerry Yang Donates $75 Million To Stanford University

2007: Stanford said they would “spend most of the money on a new environmental studies” center.


Yahoo’s Sung Nak-Yang, Yahoo Korea CEO, To Resign

2007: He and Yahoo USA disagreed on several undisclosed items. 


Wikipedia Enters Top Ten Most Visited Sites

Year: 43 million visitors.


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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