The History of Google’s Biggest Changes over Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

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The History of Google’s Biggest Changes over Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

The biggest change in search marketers’ lives is  arguably how search has morphed and is becoming more and more integrated into our daily routines. While Google innovates, we find ourselves harder to keep up.

For example, do you remember Yahoo and MSN were the alternate competitors to Google? Then, MSN (amongst many rebrands) become Bing all to leave Yahoo in the dust start taking back some search share. Or do you remember how searches were about “things” vs. “strings”? For example, we used to type “lumber utah” to find firewood for sale in Sandy, Utah. Now we ask Google “Where can I find lumber for sale for my fireplace near Sandy, Utah?” Voice search has aided the morphology of that.

Today, what we say and ask Google starts to matter less and less. Google tries to understand us before we even ask. It’ll morph or results based on our location, device we’re using, previous behavior, and more. It’s truly an engine of matching intent vs. matching keywords these days. And, of course, that’s changed how SEOs work.

Watching those keyword rankings go up and down are no longer as meaningful as they once where.  Below, my company MWI highlighted some of the most common theme changes over time.

Let us know in the comments if you know of any others.

old vs new google

Editor’s Note: Jordan Kasteler is the Digital Marketing Strategist of MWI.

Image Credits

Featured Image and infographics by MWI. Used with permission.

Jordan Kasteler

Jordan Kasteler

Digital Marketing Consultant at Jordan Kasteler
Jordan Kasteler is a freelance consultant, entrepreneur. Passionately innovating status quo. He has a history of entrepreneurship co-founding such companies as BlueGlass Interactive. His work... Read Full Bio
Jordan Kasteler
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  • Gaizka –

    Good work! Nice one!

    • Jordan Kasteler


  • Chenzo

    <3 The infograph Jordan. Well done. I was hoping to see Penguins, Pandas and hummingbirds – oh my ;o)

    • Jordan Kasteler

      Thanks, Chenzo! Glad you <3 it

  • Roger Rogerson

    Okay – I stopped reading halfway through.
    I’ll scroll back up and continue as I comment.

    Blue underlined Links Visual listings.
    Most SERPs are still mostly text based (and still blue, but sans-underline :D).

    Search optimisation User Engagement.
    Can you show any real examples of UE influencing ranking?

    Unique Depth.
    Got any examples that prove length of content or depth of content is looked for by G, let alone directly influencing ranking?

    Link endorsements Brand Mentions.
    Still waiting for anyone (anyone at all!) to show even a strong correlation between ranking position and brand references.

    Individuals Social networks.

    Aged results Fresh results.
    Depends entirely on the Query type and the topic/term.
    Some searches still point to content that is 5+ years old as it has the most links, the most authority or appears the most relevant.

    Traffic Conversions.
    And G knows about your Conversions … it knows when people email or call you … it knows people bought stuff from you ………. how?

    Domain authority Author authority.
    Got any examples of this? (Yes, I know there are patents, and many cross pertain to “author rank” etc., and G did try authors years ago, and it sucked!).

    And that’s at first glance.
    Much of it is based on hyperbole, theory, rumour and wishful thinking.

    Why not go for more solid/confirmed items?
    Such as … link networks Penguin, or Ad-heavy pages Top heavy algo, or General results Personalised results, or TF-IDF Semantic sets etc.?

    • Jordan Kasteler

      Thanks for digging through this and taking the time. I can definitely see your confusion…let me help. Yes you’re right a lot is theory, direction, and foresight. Not necessarily hypothesis because they have been things talked about that’s more rumored than anything. But not all of course.

      Unique Depth.
      Google markeing “In-Depth Articles” is one thing. There are sooo many articles pushing long-form content. There is a place for short term content on a CRO front but long-term trumps. Just Google around and you’ll see. Back in the day it just used to be about unique content and you can spin it enough to make it unique. That doesn’t work anymore either.

      Traffic Conversions
      Math and Ads

      Domain authority Author authority
      They’re bring back author authority if people decided to use it the markup more. But they still are looking at individuals and their authority on the web.

      • Roger Rogerson

        Thanks for the reply Jordan – much appreciated 😀

        Unique Depth.
        Yet no one has actually proven that detailed content ranks higher because of the Algo. It;’s the same as “longform”.
        Personally, I think people are looking at a relation, not the cause.
        Yes, there are lots of long and/or evergreen and/or detailed pieces ranking highly.
        But is it because G can see them for what they are, or because people link to them?
        There’s tons of long-winded pieces of garbage that don’t rank … and they have no link count to mention … funny correlation 😀

        Traffic Conversions.
        Sorry, I’m not understanding “math and Ads”.
        My point here is … there are multiple conversion points/goals a site may have. They can range from traffic to additional page hits, to phone calls, live chats, purchases, contact emails, subscription signups etc. etc. etc.
        G simply cannot know when you make most of those conversions.
        They can pattern them based on generalised data. They can fathom a “norm” and make adjustments based upon sampled data. They can, well … guess.
        The only “conversion” that G can know about, quite reliably, is SERP clicks. Any and all others are in question (some far more so than others).

        Domain Authority Author Authority.
        G did quite well before with automated author identification without the use of authorship.
        Yes, there are patents, and have been versions of such for years. But as far as I know, G have never succeeded in using it without skew occurring 🙁

        Further to the point – you present the contents of the IG as if they were solid … where as by your own admittance, parts are conjecture, rumour or potential.

  • Brigitte Sillam

    Thanks for sharing !

    • Jordan Kasteler

      Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  • Kushal Biswas

    Very nice infographic.. Simple, but useful .. Thanks

  • John Litton

    Jordan, great work. I’ll admit that I too would love to have seen a few of the critical Panda/Penguin and upcoming algorithm changes addressed as well but, you are to be commended. I appreciate your sharing!!!!!

  • Linus Larsson

    What about the logo? 🙂
    Serif Sans-serif

  • Andy Kuiper – SEO Analyst

    A good number of relevant points 🙂

  • Cody Lueck

    Thank you for the great read Jordan. There is always so much I can learn from you.