The title of this post is falls short a bit because, as ubiquitous as Google is, their algorithm updates aren’t the only events that may affect your site’s performance in the search engines.
My SEO Calendar GCal
Anyway, to keep abreast of these changes, I created a Google Calendar in 2010 to help me monitor them. It’s especially nice when I’m in a client meeting and they say something like, “Our traffic took a bloody nosedive in June. Were we hit by Penguin?” (You may want to check this post by Danny Sullivan out if you think penguins are just cute little animals in tuxedos.) It’s really helpful for me to just pull up my calendar and see if their digital D Day correlates with any major updates.
You can view the calendar below or choose from one of the following viewing options:
How To Add This Calendar To Your GCal
If you’re using a Google Calendar, here are the steps to add this calendar to it:
Step 1: Click on the iCal link. It’s going to automatically download a file, basic.ics.
Step 2: In your GCal, select Other calendars > Import calendar.
Step 3: Click the Choose File button and navigate to the basic.ics file you just downloaded, then click the Import button. It will now show up under My Calendar.
Step 4: For some reason, Google brings it in with my name instead of the calendar title, which is SEO Calendar. So dumb. To change that, hover over the calendar name, then click on the down-facing arrow that appears onhover and choose Calendar settings. Change the Calendar Name and click Save.
Step 5: Choose Month from the tabs in the upper-right corner of the calendar to view an entire month at a time.
SEOmoz has a great Google Algorithm Change History resource that tracks updates that date back to 2000, and they’re better at keeping theirs updated. (However, not offering it as a calendar makes it slightly less accessible, imo.) Barry Schwartz also has a blog category of Google updates you could peruse.
One of my awesome commenters, Paul Gailey, pointed out that if you click on the teeny-tiny Google Calendar image in the bottom-right corner of any embedded gcal while you’re logged in to your Google account, you’ll get a prompt asking you if you want to add the calendar. Very convenient! Thanks, Paul!