2011 – A Year in Inbound Marketing

12 Months of Digital Marketing Highlights by the Best Brains in the Business…

It’s December. The time of year when every SEO gets all misty eyed and reflective about what the last 12 months have brought and taught our industry. But while end-of-year round ups can get a little tedious and mundane we still feel they provide a huge amount of value, which is why the Zazzle team has thought hard about how we might make them a little more interesting again.

This recent piece on the top SEO blogs of 2011 is a good example of this and is a great partner piece to what we have created below – a month-by-month blow of many of the year’s biggest stories, told by the best writers in inbound marketing and SEO.

Below you can see each ‘event’ cataloged as we capture the original news story and the fallout opinion. No story is complete however, without actionable takeaways, and so we have also hunted down some of the best advice based blogs telling you how you can best steer your own site to glory.

So without further ado, here goes…

[list_marked]

  • January
Google Confirms Social Signals Affect Rank

After much speculation Google finally caves in and admits it really is taking social sharing seriously and that, while a small factor, social signals do affect site authority and rank…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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  • February
J C Penney Penalised for Paid Links

It wasn’t such a great year for J C Penney as the retail giant was accused of acquiring numbers of paid links. The result? A penalty & much discussion about the age-old subject…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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Panda is Unleashed

Google decided enough was enough and unleashed a powerful new algo filter we now know as ‘Panda’. Its job was to add a qualitative filter to the search engine’s content analysis tools…

THE NEWS THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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Google Accuses Bing of Copying Results

It all got a little embarrassing for Microsoft after Google apparently discovered evidence that their rival had been ‘copying results’. Reminded us of the school field at lunchtime…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | 2ND OPINION

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Bing Integrates Social and Personalises Results

Bing got with the program again and decided 2011 was the right time to accept social was here to stay and that it could actually improve search results…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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  • March
The +1 Button is Unleashed

We had the Facebook Like and the Tweet button but that wasn’t enough for Google. Instead it invented the +1 and it opened the way for its forthcoming social platform…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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New Google Analytics Launches

Google unveiled a new look Analytics with a host of exciting new features for site owners and SEO to play with. It looked great, until they started encrypting keyword referral data….

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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  • April
CTR Study Reveals the Gaping Void Between Google and the Rest

Ever wondered what 1st position might be worth to you? Then CTR studies are key in measuring it and this latest one really exposed the difference between Google and the rest…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE
Social Signals and ROI Measurement

Measuring the true ROI of social activity is the new holy grail for inbound marketing software companies. The BIG debate really began…

THE ADVICE | THE ADVICE

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  • May
Google Gives Guidance on ‘Quality Sites’

If ever there was any doubt over what a good quality site really looked like in the eyes of the ‘all seeing eye’ then that soon disappeared with the publication of this guide by Google…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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  • June
 Google + Opens its Doors

Facebook meet your new enemy. Well, that’s not strictly true and we doubt Team Zuck are too afraid just yet, but Google Plus is the Big G’s first serious foray into social platforms…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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Google Moves Away from PageRank (Officially)

Oh PageRank how we did love thee…until Google decided it was a little old hat and decided that usage data and social sharing was really the key to measuring authority…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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Author Markup and Trust Rank

Its the sleeping giant that few have yet to grasp but Author Markup is stage one in the quest to measure content authority not at site level but at author level…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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Schema.org

The shared protocol was jointly announced by the major search players with a promise that it would play a bigger and bigger part in how search results are displayed…

THE NEWS THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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  • July
Page Speed Service Launched

We have all been hearing for a while why page speed is important and Google decided to help us optimise with the launch of a free measuring tool…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION THE ADVICE

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Panda (Again)

By July it was clear that the Panda algo filter improvements were going to be an iterative process…and the July update was 2.3…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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Facebook Gets Video Calling

A complex deal involving Microsoft Skype & Facebook finally saw the light of day as Zuck’s vision for video-based chat became reality…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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  • August
Panda Goes Global

After being tested in several areas around the globe Google decided they had ironed out the bugs and launched the big bear across the globe…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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Jumbo Sitelinks

Perhaps as part of its attempts to give ‘brands’ more visibility Google decided to pump up old sitelinks with ‘roids & even add in sitelink previews…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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  • September
 Facebook F8

It was one of the most anticipated dev conferences of the year and this year’s F8 did not disappoint with LOTS of new features revealed…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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Panda (Again)

2011 was not the Year of the Rabbit but rather the year of the black and white bear as yet another major ‘tweak’ was announced…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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Managing Pagination and Duplicate Content

Understanding and controlling  the technical nuances around content duplication became a lot easier with some help from Google…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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Google Admits +1 Sharing Data Affects Rank

With Google Plus and +1 firmly embedded Google finally announced that it was using the little button as an authority/quality signal…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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  • October
 Trusted Stores Unveiled by Google

Google announced plans to become even more entrenched in the rapidly growing ecommerce space with the launch of Trusted Stores…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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 New Adwords Algorithm Breaks Cover

Businesses relying on Adwords sat up and paid notice as Google’s money machine was tweaked to pay more attention to site and page rep…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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Google Shuts Down Keyword Referral Data

It was the subject that got more people talking than anything else outside Panda. How will the web world survive without good keyword data?

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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  • November
Google Adds a Touch of Freshness

Just when we thought Google’s engineers had gone on holiday they announced another algo change whopper…the Freshness update…

THE NEWS THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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Yahoo Site Explorer Says its Goodbyes

After serving the SEO world for more than six years Yahoo’s excellent site explorer was laid to rest as part of the ill fated Search Alliance…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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Brand Pages for Google+ Arrive

Brands had been itching to claim their bit of the hottest new social platform and November was the month we got that chance. Was it worth the wait?

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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Googlebot Revelation

While we still considered Google’s crawlers to be nothing more than single-celled amoeba a little known research study was about to change our view forever…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

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Transparent Algorithm Changes

While the inbound marketing community kicked up a fuss about the keyword referral shutdown Google replied with some ‘positive’ PR of its own…algo change tit bits…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION

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Stumbleupon Reaches a Magic Milestone

While many early social sharing sites were losing their appeal Stumbleupon announced it had just said ‘Hi’ to its 20 millionth member and became attractive again…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | 2ND OPINION

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  • December
Translated Content is Duplicate Content!

Global businesses and sites be afraid…Google could well be viewing your translated pages as duplicates! And here’s why that could be the case…

THE NEWS | THE OPINION | THE ADVICE

Here’s too an equally brilliant 2012!

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We hope you enjoyed reading this blog, it was written by Simon Penson, Founder and Managing Director of Zazzle Media.