In 2012, a Googler made headlines when he said “SEO isn’t good for users or the Internet at large,” and “It’s a bug that you could rank highly in Google without buying ads, and Google is trying to fix the bug.”
Was it Matt Cutts, John Mueller, or another prominent Googler who said this? No. It was actually a Noogler (or new Googler).
So did this this new employee slip up and reveal what Google really thinks? No. Far more likely, he simply didn’t know what he was talking about.
Google didn’t view SEO as spam. As for ads, Google said: “As always, Google search rankings are completely unrelated to Google’s paid advertising services and other partnerships, and there is absolutely no way for a webmaster to pay money to increase search rankings.”
Read all about it in Google Clarifies: No, Ads Shouldn’t Help Rankings & No, SEO Isn’t Bad.
And yet, more than a decade later, these SEO myths persist.
2022: Google’s John Mueller said the issue was related to a “temporary drop in how we calculate how much we can crawl,” implying there was no issue with the Shopify sites.
2022: It presented users with various drop-down menu options to learn more about the product they were searching for.
2020: It seemed like maybe Google didn’t want users to use stock photos.
2020: Users could take actions within the corresponding Google app through Siri by saying trigger phrases, such as “search with Google.”
2019: Google sought to show potential ‘unintended consequences’ of new copyright rules that require fees when content is shown in search results.
2019: Bing wanted to reduce the effort and resources put into crawling the web.
2018: Ticket resellers were now included among the list of restricted advertisers on AdWords and had to be certified by Google before they could advertise.
2018: The new minimum requirement was 1,200 pixels wide and 800,000 pixels in total.
2018: Advertisers could rate calls and be notified of missed calls.
2018: Google rolled out tabs that let users switch between hotel, flight and trip details.
2017: Advertisers attempting Phishing attacks and pushing counterfeit goods continued to try to evade detection.
2014: Said Expedia: “Our traffic from Google, both on a paid and an organic basis, continues to increase on a year-on-year basis.”
2014: Google rolled out several enhancements to Google search app for Android, bolstering Google Now features on the Nexus 5 and some other devices.
2014: New CMO planned to focus on personalization, more content depth and multi-platform experiences.
2014: As the world’s largest online advertiser, Google’s rise was a reflection of the technology industry taking a larger role globally.
2014: 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.
2013: Thoughts from marketers about what they liked, what they didn’t like, what needed to be done, and what they wanted to see in future releases.
2013: It was a bug. Google said it was working on it.
2013: Twitter said that some older tweets were going to be available.
2012: Google ranked as the number one source of traffic for 23 of the top 30 websites.
2012: Brands did a much better job of keeping things simple and driving viewers to interesting, relevant pages that engaged them.
2012: Super Bowl ad-related searches in the US rose 200% on desktop, 970% on tablets and 2,700% on smartphones.
2012: Google confirmed rolling out a new look for their one-line sitelinks.
2012: It included the ability to analyze your own datasets.
2011: The verification page of Google Webmaster Tools included a link to Google Analytics option for all verified sites.
2011: Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that “Google could be willing to change some of its algorithm methodology in search,” to avoid potential fines or other penalties.
2011: 100% of brands had at least some search visibility. But many brands didn’t include mention the Super Bowl ads at all on their home pages.
2011: Four good sites that made it easy to find and watch them.
2011: Publishers running AdSense would see fewer public service announcement banners on their sites.
2011: It took 90 days and 50 days in 2009 and 2010, respectively, for the event to sellout.
2011: He had been detained by the Egyptian government during protests.
2011: If Facebook-generated “/likes” were included the “slashtag count” rose to over a million.
2011: Bloggers had more influence than mainstream publications in areas such as technology and entertainment.
2010: The “Parisian Love” commercial had 1.2 million views on YouTube before it ran during the Super Bowl.
2010: The NFL, CBS, and the search engines didn’t do a great job at connecting with searchers who wanted to know what time the game started.
2008: New capabilities allowed users to “create a local section for any city, state or country in the world.”
2008: The core relevance team that Eytan managed included crawling, indexing, and ranking for Live Search.
2008: The group would be a part of the Virtual Earth team, but the software equally used for gaming and game development.
2008: Ask embraced the social media tenet that you need others to tell you how important a news story is, with its new “BigFactor” ratings.
2007: Instead of a Super Bowl ad, he popped the question during a “Veronica Mars” commercial.
2007: Searching for directions from Shelbourne Hotel to Google’s own Sydney office across the street took you over a toll bridge and back.
2007: You no longer needed an invite or SMS code to gain access to your own Gmail account.
2007: Once it was free for companies to adopt Google’s office applications.
2007: Schmidt lobbied for many things in his talk, including a bill to remove taxes on internet access and e-commerce, net neutrality and government initiatives to help small businesses with technology.
2007: They also added some new features including more languages, increased search results, enhanced search tags, more local options, improved phone results and more coding samples.
2007: Yahoo added a box to the home page in order to promote user-generated search sites.
2007: A search marketer and breastfeeding activist received two letters of apology, plus the National Pork Board backed a fundraising campaign for the Mother’s Milk Bank Of Ohio.
2007: A look at search-related demonstrations from the DEMO conference.
2007: Viewers were presented with brand name content channels and hundreds of video partners were added to its search index.
2007: SideStep had its eye on more acquisitions.
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.