Internet Marketing Tips, Suggestions, & Ramblings

The Biggest SEO News of 2015

You did it. You survived another year.

If we’re being honest, 2015 had its share of ups and downs in the world of SEO. For us at SEO Inc., we’re happy to say our year was definitely more up than down. But you can’t deny that we all saw some pretty huge changes within the industry. From a rise in manual actions to AI algorithms, these are the stirrings of what’s to come in the new year.

So when we say, “you survived 2015,” that’s a serious achievement.

Here’s what you have to be proud of surviving this year:

A Move Toward Higher Quality Content

We’ll remember 2015 as the year Google really started making good on its promises to make Content King again. Over and over, Google let us know what they wanted to see from our content. With these announcements came the development of new tools that detect (and reward) sites that follow their rules. These included algorithms that rate sites by their factual content, as well as machine-learning Google AI known as “RankBrain.” This groundbreaking algorithm “guesses” what users want to search, and it’s already more satisfactory than Google’s human engineers. This can only mean good news for search users.

But some of their actions weren’t as merciful. In mid-May, we saw Google deal out a wave of manual penalties that targeted sites with “thin content with little or no added value.” This move reinforced the idea that we should be prioritizing our content to be as useful and optimal as any other part of our site.

Check out these articles:

The Google mobile update is going to be bigger than panda or penguin.

April 21st, AKA “Mobilegeddon”

April 21st – a day that will live in infamy. Well, if not for the crater it made, then for the hype leading up to it. Mobilegeddon came and went, and everyone’s rankings didn’t end up tanking like we thought they would. This was partly due to the slow roll-out of the update, which thankfully, gave plenty of websites time to become mobile-friendly compliant.

Even if Mobilegeddon wasn’t everything we thought it would be, it still taught us a valuable lesson. Google wants everyone to provide users with the best mobile experience possible. Google preached that lesson early in the year, when they released a wave of warnings to “fix mobile usability issues” found in a number of websites. With mobile expected to continue dominating the user base in 2016, everyone had better get real friendly with their mobile site.

See these blogs for reference:

The new logo for Google's rebranded Google Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console.

More Accessible Website Recovery

2015 wasn’t all doom and gloom from the Big Search Engine Upstairs. Google gave plenty of tips for helping business owners run their sites. And yes, that includes when a user was in the wrong and punished with a penalty. From Google’s releasing of their Search Quality Guidelines to the renaming of Google Webmaster Tools to the more accessible Google Search Console, we saw the task of obeying Google’s Webmaster Guidelines become even easier for business owners of all sizes.

See more on the blogs:

A green padlock with the term "https" in its center sits off to the left. The word "Google" sits to its immediate right.

Increased Hacking (And the Security to Fix It)

This year was a bad one for hacking. But Google had our backs in a major way. They released a multi-part series on spreading hacking awareness, which even included a few tricks to prevent it from happening to you. This info came with some alarming numbers—that hacking was up 180% over the course of the year. But with Google’s suggestions to make the jump to HTTPS, as well as implement 2 step verification, you can all but hacker-proof your site from some of the more common hacking methods.

Read up and secure your site:

Give yourself a hand—you got through a lot this year. And things aren’t likely to slow down any in 2016. Make sure you stay on top of all your SEO news. Stick with us and we’ll keep you updated with the latest search engine goings-on.

Thanks for a great 2015, and we’ll see you next year!

About Eric Seal

Eric SealEric has written copy for hundreds of blog posts, press releases, and website pages across a wide range of industries, from upscale luggage vendors and industrial warehouse equipment to luxury international hotels. His ability to write engaging content while maintaining a client’s brand and voice has made him a valuable member of the SEO Inc. team. Eric holds a BA in Literature and Writing from Cal State University San Marcos.