Well, it’s the time of year for wrap-up lists, yet again. For most industries, there aren’t too many big changes throughout a year. When discussing everything that happened in SEO however, there is certainly a lot to cover.

Tom Schmitz over at Search Engine Land has a detailed analysis of all of the important shift in Google SEO throughout 2012. There’s a lot there. Google has been very active in trying to fight webspam, and personalize search results for individuals. Panda alone has had 13 updates since November 18th, 2011.

If Google keeps this up, 2013 will be a busy year for SEO as well.


Bad URL structure is far too common of an issue in SEO. It can drag down your rankings, keep your pages from appearing in search engine indexes and destroy ranking authority from any other pages and websites you are a part of.

This is sometimes the fault of content management systems who can build poor URL structures within the websites. Elsewhere, some platforms devise URLs with illegal characters.

Search engines do try to read and index even the most poorly made URLs, but paying attention to your URL management and optimization has its own set of benefits. It’s about time you made sure you are doing your part.

It isn’t difficult to diagnose URL based issues, however. You can check for errors and warnings that suggest URLs are causing the issues, and you can audit all of your URLs for proper syntax.

Google and Bing Webmaster Tools also have reports that reveal duplicate content. From there, you can examine the webpages themselves and their locations. Google and Bing aren’t even the only ones with these types of tools. Plenty of third-party SEO tools can help identify these types of issues. Also make sure to check for unsafe characters.

Tom Schmitz from Search Engine Land has charts to help make clear what characters you should be using and when. He also has many other suggestions on how to solve issues with poor URL structures.