A year in review: Search Engine Land’s top 10 columns of 2016

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Expanded text ads. Mobile-first index. Accelerated Mobile Pages. Possum. These are just a few of the many words and phrases we search marketers became intimately familiar with over the course of the past year.

Both within the search industry and outside of it, 2016 was a year marked by change — and no change got more attention from our columnists than Google’s decision to eliminate the right rail ads from its desktop search results. Readers were clearly eager to learn as much as possible about how these changes would impact their campaigns, as two of our top 10 columns were focused on this topic.

The local search community also dealt with some major changes, as the Possum update caused a huge shake-up within local search results. Local search expert Joy Hawkins wrote the definitive article on this unannounced Google update, which impacted up to 64 percent of local SERPs. Her excellent coverage of this development earned her the top spot in 2016.

After the emotional roller coaster that was 2016, many people are ready for this year to be over. But for those of you brave enough to want to relive it, here are Search Engine Land’s top 10 columns of the year:

  1. Everything you need to know about Google’s ‘Possum’ algorithm update by Joy Hawkins, published on 9/21/2016
    Social activity: Facebook 2,931, Google+ 492, LinkedIn 1798
  2. 7 essential Google Analytics reports every marketer must know by Khalid Saleh, published on 5/30/2016
    Social activity: Facebook 1,727, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 2863
  3. How To Get Started With Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) by Paul Shapiro, published on 2/24/2016
    Social activity: Facebook 632, Google+ 194, LinkedIn 524
  4. Top 9 reasons Google suspends local listings by Joy Hawkins, published on 4/21/2016
    Social activity: Facebook 855, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 794
  5. How To Localize Google Search Results by Clay Cazier, published on 1/13/2016
    Social activity: Facebook 622, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 393
  6. Google’s New SERP Layout: The Biggest Winners & Losers by Larry Kim, published on 2/24/2016
    Social activity: Facebook 751, Google+ 196, LinkedIn 1234
  7. Infographic: 11 amazing hacks that will boost your organic click-through rates by Larry Kim, published on 10/5/2016
    Social activity: Facebook 1086, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 821
  8. Test Your Knowledge Of SEO by Eric Enge, published on 1/5/2016
    Social activity: Facebook 900, Google+ 189, LinkedIn 594
  9. HTTP to HTTPS: An SEO’s guide to securing a website by Patrick Stox, published on 4/14/2016
    Social activity: Facebook 962, Google+ 219, LinkedIn 619
  10. Google’s Take On The Recent Changes To The Results Page by Matt Lawson, published on 3/2/2016
    Social activity: Facebook 627, Google+ 168, LinkedIn 944

Methodology: Columns published in 2016 are ranked in order of page views measured by Google Analytics. Data includes all columns published through November 30, 2016. Social data provided by SharedCount.

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