Christmas approaches. 2008 is drawing to a close. Soon we'll be into a bright, shiny new year. So now is a good time to take stock and look at what hit the headlines in the world of SEO and the Internet over the last 12 months. Here are some of the big stories that caught our eye this year. In no particular order:
Go Compare Blacklisted
The comparison site Go Compare was blacklisted by Google – sinking down and out of Google almost overnight in January. Be afraid! Listen to your SEO people – bad practice has consequences.
Google Trademark Words Policy
On 5th May Google changed its AdWords policy to allow all-comers to bid on trademarked brand names. You can now set up AdWords that appear when someone types in a protected brand name such as Coca Cola or Adidas or Hoover. Great for search engine marketing.
Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft Talks
This year was dominated by proposed partnerships and take-over bids by the major industry players. Yahoo! had talks with Microsoft and Google had talks with Yahoo! The only people not talking to each other were Microsoft & Google. And the only thing everyone agreed on was that Google is the winner!
No More Fake Reviews
On 26 May, ‘fake' reviews became illegal under UK law punishable by up to two years in jail. So don't even think about making up any customer reviews online or in print and get expert help with the wording for advertorials.
Microsoft Cashback on Live Search
In May Microsoft launched a cashback incentive scheme that gave US customers rebates on goods purchased from selected retailers via Live Search. Though it's experienced some glitches it has been a success so far.
Louis Vuitton Court Case
Louis Vuitton was not happy about Google's change to their trademarked words policy and promptly took them to court.
Flash Files Now SEO Friendly
In June, Google announced that Abode Flash files would now be crawled by the search engine. Everything contained within Flash files are now read and spidered in the same way as html text – great for SEO!
Google in Trouble over UK Street View
Street View, Google's map feature that allows you to ‘drive' at street level along the actual road, has already caused problems in the US over invasion of privacy. But in Europe there's bigger problems ahead as, because it's in essence a film of a journey, it contravenes the EU Data Protection Directive – oops!
The Great Domain Gold Rush
ICANN announced that from early next year we will all be able to invent our own top level domain names! Goodie!
Google Insight Launched
Google Insight was launched in August giving you the chance to look at detailed worldwide popularity stats for any given search term.
Microsoft Buys Ciao
Microsoft was busy buying e-commerce comparison site Ciao.
Google Separates Search Stats
In October Google added the option to allow AdWords users to view separate statistics for Google search and its Partner Network sites such as Aol.com and Ask.com. Prior to this, data was only listed for both networks combined.
Yahoo! ditches Kelkoo
Meanwhile Yahoo! was busy offloading their own comparison site, Kelkoo.
Google Searches Scanned Docs
In October, Google also announced it could now 'read' scanned Adobe PDF documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) – great for SEO!
Facebook in Top 5
In September, Facebook broke into the Top 5 most visited sites in the UK for the first time, knocking the BBC back to sixth place.
Here at Edgeworks we work hard to keep you up to date with all the latest SEO, search engine marketing and Internet news. Keep an eye on Webfly and we'll make sure you're always the first to know.