Some of the SEO changes that took place in 2009 are :
Google improves flash indexing :
Google has enhanced its search engine’s capacity to index Adobe’s Flash files, which are very popular on the Web but tricky for search engine spiders. Google and Adobe’s created a new algorithm which now indexes text content in Flash. As a result Google Bots now indexes textual content in .SWF files of all kinds and extracts URL’s embedded in Flash.
Canonical Link Element:
In short, the canonical element is a line of code that you add to pages that may be duplicates. The canonical link element rel=”canonical” is added to a page within the header () of a page, typically by developers, as follows
In this code, you designate the “canonical,” or “proper,” URL. Engines, in turn, note this URL and apply link popularity and authority to the canonical version instead of applying them to duplicate URLs.
This provides a hint to a search engine about which is the most important or original page if pages are identical or similar in terms of content, but have a different URL.
Two major updates were :
i) Regular PR and Backlink Updates :
Usually a Google PageRank update occurs every three months. So everyone was expecting an Page rank update in the month of march. Lots of rumors and gossips were spread out among webmasters and finally the wait ended up in the first week of April. This time Google crawled for both Page rank and Backlink. But this year Google gave two more surprises as Google danced similarly in the month of June and July which made a great impact on all the working strategies of SEO.
ii) Search Refinements and Snippets :
There were three changes on the Google search result pages which were visible to all the users.
1. The snippet length for the search results has increased. Earlier the snippet was of two lines. Google now displays an extended snippet of 3 lines for queries that consist of three or more keywords. The idea behind this change is that these multi keyword queries are much targeted and complex and hence the short snippet might not contain enough information.
2. Another change is that Google now shows more related searches at the bottom of the search results page. It is very important that you optimize the different pages of your website for different keywords.
3. The third change is that Google now shows local results based on IP addresses. The local results are delivered based on the IP address of the searcher. That means that you will get different results than people in another city.
i) Google Show Options
Google announced a new set of features called as Search/Show Options, which are a collection of tools that rearranges the result so that it can be viewed from different user’s perspectives.
ii) Microsoft New Search Engine BING Launched
On May 28th Microsoft publicly unveiled its soon-to-launch search engine Bing, which was publicly available on June 3. Bing is Microsoft’s new decision engine. The home page features a rotation of stunning photography, for instance, which can be clicked on to produce related image search results. In search presentation, Bing wins. It uses technology from Powerset (a search technology company Microsoft acquired) to display refined versions of your query down the left side of the page. Bing gave a menu of “related searches,” that included Walkthrough, News, and so on.
No More Page Rank Sculpting:
PageRank sculpting is an SEO tactic that involves adding the nofollow attribute to links for which PageRank flow is not necessary. Early in 2005, the main search engines introduced a ‘nofollow’ attribute for the A HREF HTML command for coding hyperlinks.
Pagerank sculpting used to be really effective around a year ago but Finally Matt Cutts announced in his blog that it’s not the most effective way to utilize your page rank and its not recommended.
Webmaster “Summer Shine”
July 2009 Google webmaster team have named there new update as “summer shine”. Webmaster added new feel to the webmaster. Among which some of the major updates are:
1.Site Selector Update
2.Site Link Update
3.URL Remove Request update
4.Home Page Update
Next Generation Architecture for web Search - Google’s Caffeine :
On 10th August Google ask people to help and test there next generation infrastructure. This change was made to improve indexing capability, speed and accuracy of the search results.
Google has provided a preview of the new infrastructure at www2.sandbox.google.com and invited web developers to try searches there.