This day in search marketing history: March 25

Google Panda patent granted

In 2014, a patent (Ranking search results) written by Google’s Navneet Panda and Vladimir Ofitserov – possibly describing the Google Panda algorithm update, or parts of it – was granted.

However, the fact that Google was granted this patent didn’t necessarily mean it was being used by Google at the time, or that it hadn’t been modified since the application was filed. 

Read all about it in Google Granted Patent For Panda Algorithm and dive deeper into Bill Slawski’s Google’s Panda Granted a Patent on Ranking Search Results and Is Ranking Search Results the Panda Patent? on SEO by the Sea. And here’s the patent.

In short, it was about looking at inbound links and how many search queries were made about a particular page/resource, and it modified the “initial scores” for the pages/resources being ranked.

Slawski explained the patent had many parts that worked together:

  • Determining, for many groups of resources, a count of independent incoming links to help in the group
  • Deciding, for each of the plurality of groups of resources, a count of reference queries
  • Choosing, for each of the plurality of groups of resources, a respective group-specific modification factor, wherein the group-specific modification factor for each group get based on the count of independent links and the count of reference queries for the group
  • Associating, with each of the plurality of groups of resources, the respective group-specific modification factor for the group, wherein the respective group-specific modification for the group modifies initial scores generated for help in the group in response to received search queries

Also on this day

Google Search rolls out a more visual search interface on mobile with grid format

2022: Were both top results position one or did Google count the one on the right as position two?

Google Search Console users experience crawl stats report data issue

2021: Between March 10 and 23 there was a data issue with the crawl stats report, no Google Search performance issues were associated with this data bug.

Google adds practice problems and math solver structured data and Search Console reports

2021: Google came up with new structured data and Search Console reporting to help educational websites understand which pages had these content types.

Microsoft proposes method to automatically submit URLs from WordPress to search engines

2021: Microsoft wanted to build into the core of WordPress the ability to automatically push new and updated URLs to Bing and other search engines.

Microsoft Advertising introduces more automation via ad suggestions with auto-apply

2021: Ad suggestions marked as auto-apply would start serving after 14 days if no action was taken.

Google Podcasts gets a redesign and iOS rollout

2020: The new design featured an Explore tab with recommendations based on the listener’s interests.

Google turns on ‘mark a business temporarily closed’ for business owners on GMB

2020: The tool was under ‘Close this business on Google.’

SEOs talk pivoting and planning for a future after COVID-19

2020: What veteran SEOs were doing to help clients adapt to business during and after the pandemic.

COVID-Consumers: Pessimistic, but spending more online

2020: A large majority of consumers expected a recession next year but were spending up to 30% more online, according to a survey.

Social platforms cut streaming quality as ‘social distancing’ wages on

2020: The push to downgrade streaming quality was primarily focused in Europe with regulatory mandates to reduce network strain.

Video: Hamlet Batista on scaling and automating SEO with code

2020: And a bit about using Python.

Google webspam report: Hacked sites, user-generated spam, bad linking topped 2018 priorities

2019: Google released its annual webspam report last week to highlight advances against content that seeks to manipulate ranking algorithms and harm users.

Google AMP, mobile-friendly testing tools support code editing

2019: Google announced that its AMP and mobile-friendly test tools supported the ability to edit code and rerun the test, live.

Bing Ads bad account takedowns doubled in 2018

2019: Third-party tech support scams, cryptocurrency and weapons ad content topped the areas of attention.

TravelTime maps API lets users search by time rather than distance

2019: Users could search by time and make travel or transportation decisions accordingly.

AdWords now applies recommended bids to new DSA categories automatically

2016: The feature was designed to help managers set up a lot of dynamic search ad categories quickly.

Contradicting other data, Compete says search traffic growing on the desktop

2016: Firm argued number of searchers and searches per user have grown significantly on the PC since last year.

Search in Pics: Google hammocks, “Star Wars” wall stickers & Matt Cutts playing with pandas

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 Adds Subdomain Support To Change Of Address Tool In Google Webmaster Tools

2015: You could now communicate subdomain moves in Google Webmaster Tools Change of Address tool.

Google Clarifies “Mobile Friendly Update” Will Roll Out Over A Week, Be Yes/No Response & More

2015: There were no degrees of mobile-friendliness in this algorithm.

Google Launches Major Push To Get Local Businesses Online, Improve Data

2015: New site offered tools, content and solicited business owners to update information.

Google Misattributing Content From Major News Publishers

2014: It was unclear if the issue was with Google or with the publishers.

Five Days Later, It Looks Like Google Has Penalized Web Design Library For Selling Links

2014: A website that was using Twitter to renew paid links appeared to have earned a Google penalty.

BrandVerity Offers Feedback From Google, Bing On Paid Search Trademark Complaints

2014: BrandVerity added a process to its paid search ad monitoring system to give clients direct feedback from Google and the Yahoo Bing Network on trademark violation complaints.

Apple Broadening App-Store Search With Related Keywords

2014: While this wasn’t entirely helpful it did offer some discovery potential.

Google Finally Discontinues The Blocked Sites Feature

2013: After over a year of the blocked sites feature not working (and two months after Google promised it would return) Google officially declared they were discontinuing the feature.

Google Streamlines AdWords Rules On Using Trademark Keywords

2013: Google announced an update to its AdWords trademark policy that streamlined the rules on using third-party trademark keywords in campaigns.

Google Adds Publisher Opt-Out Tool For Shopping, Flights, Hotels & Local Search

2013: Google’s tool was a result of an agreement with the US Federal Trade Commission over antitust charges.

Bing Offers Recommendations for SEO-Friendly AJAX: Suggests HTML5 pushState

2013: Bing announced support for HTML5 pushState as a way to implement AJAX on a site in a way that helped Bing crawl and index the URLs and content.

Facebook Graph Search Now Passing Keyword Data To Webmasters

2013: The keyword data was passed from Facebook with a query string [q={keyword}] appended to the end of the referring URL. 

LinkedIn Is Getting Smarter With Enhanced Search Features & Improved Query Results

2013: LinkedIn launched a new unified search feature and a smarter query intent algorithm that continuously served up more relevant results.

Apple Buys Indoor Location Company, What’s It Up To?

2013: Did Apple see indoor location as a future part of the iOS platform?

Was Android Tablet OS (Honeycomb) Rushed to Market?

2011: “To make our schedule to ship the tablet, we made some design tradeoffs,” said Andy Rubin, vice-president for engineering at Google and head of its Android group.

Updated: Is “FaceSense” Forthcoming?

2011: Facebook was testing new ad targeting options that displayed creative beside content that was contextually relevant, similarly to Google’s AdSense.

Zuckerberg In Zion: Speaks To Senator Hatch, Students At BYU

2011: He spent a fair amount of time talking about the “misconception” that advertisers can access your personal information, but rather, that Facebook does the targeting based on advertiser selection.

Search In Pics: Yahoo Purple Door, Bus Stop & Google Honeycomb

2011: 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 Bug & Slow PR Leads To Chinese Hack Rumors

2010: Google executives page was showing up in Chinese language.

Google Now Offering “Remarketing” To All AdWords Advertisers

2010: Google had initiated a trial of remarketing for display and text ads throughout its content network in March 2009.

Google China: Congressional Praise; Microsoft Supports Tyranny & Google Eats Poo Cartoon

2010: The reactions to Google’s partial withdrawal from China continued. 

Microsoft Announces Raft Of New Bing Features: Improved UI, More “Answers” And Of Course Foursquare

2010: Many of the improvements were focused on the UI, richer vertical experiences, maps and real-time information.

The State Of Search Engine Marketing 2010

2010: The North American search engine marketing industry was expected to grow 14% from $14.6 billion in 2009 to $16.6 billion by the end of 2010.

The Things That Facebook Causes, According To Google, Yahoo & Bing

2010: Divorce, depression, jealousy, cancer and more.

SES New York 2010 Day 3 Live Coverage

Google Voice Search & My Location Now On Blackberry

2009: The My Location feature let you search without needing to input a city name or some other geographic modifier.

Yahoo Closes The Cabin Door On FareChase

2009: An alert on the FareChase website indicated it was the service’s final day and encouraged users to instead use Yahoo Travel.

Google’s Search Box Grows As Needed: Yahoo & Live Search Don’t

2008: Google would increase the width of the search box if a query was long enough to warrant a wider search box.

White Spaces: Google’s Second Bite At The Wireless Apple

2008: Google did not win any of the 700MHz bandwidth, although it secured the right of open access for third-party devices and software on the C Block.

Is Yahoo Hoping For Justice Department Intervention To Stop MicroHoo Merger?

2008: Was government intervention the secret hope of Yahoo management?

OpenSocial Becomes More Open, Facebook Says No; AOL Flamed By Mag; Court Rules Against Clicking Minors

2008: Google, Yahoo, and News Corp.’s MySpace joined forces to announce that OpenSocial, the social networking platform alternative to Facebook’s platform, was going to become a non-profit foundation.

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.

< March 24 | Search Marketing History | March 26 >

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About the author

Danny Goodwin

Danny Goodwin has been Managing Editor of Search Engine Land & Search Marketing Expo – SMX since 2022. He joined Search Engine Land in 2022 as Senior Editor. In addition to reporting on the latest search marketing news, he manages Search Engine Land’s SME (Subject Matter Expert) program. He also helps program U.S. SMX events.

Goodwin has been editing and writing about the latest developments and trends in search and digital marketing since 2007. He previously was Executive Editor of Search Engine Journal (2017 to 2022), managing editor of Momentology (from 2014-2016) and editor of Search Engine Watch (from 2007 to 2014). 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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