Saying Goodbye to 2014: A Recap of Last Year’s SEO Changes


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Dynamic and always in flux, the SEO industry is one that is rife with change year to year. And 2014 was no different. Provided below are some of the biggest changes that hit the industry since last January.

Cutts Cuts Out

Show us a search marketer who doesn’t like Matt Cutts and we’ll show you a bad search marketer.

As the head of Google’s Web Spam team, Cutts is the man responsible for ensuring that users get the search results they want. And the Internet loves him for it. That’s why it was a sad day this July when the search engine rock star announced on his blog that he would be taking a temporary leave to spend more time with his family. Now more than five months later, Cutts has yet to make an appearance and Google has made no announcements regarding his return.

Fortunately, Matt left a highly capable team at the helm when he left. And Google’s spam fighting updates are working as good as ever, which brings us to our next point…

The End of Big Algorithm Updates?

From Penguins to Hummingbirds to Pandas, SEOs have dealt with a number of major algorithm updates over the past three years. But 2014 remained relatively quiet. Sure, there have been a handful of tweaks here and there, but nothing as serious as their predecessors.

Is 2014 the year that Google’s algorithm became so smart it no longer needs major updates? Only time will tell.

Mozilla Firefox Drops Google

Mozilla Firefox officially dropped Google as its default search engine earlier this year. Yahoo has taken its place. Considering that Google’s Chrome is one of Firefox’s top competitors, it makes sense that Mozilla would end the partnership. However, it’s hard to say what this will mean for the future of search.

Immediately after the release of Firefox 34, Yahoo gained a shocking 20 percent of the search market, effectively reaching 29.4 percent of consumers. Whether or not they will hold this market share is anyone’s guess. But given Google’s advantage in the mobile search industry, Yahoo cannot limit its land grabs to desktop interfaces and expect serious gains.


The past year has certainly been an exciting one for the search engine marketing industry. Let’s look forward for more of the same in 2015!


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