What happened in the digital world in 2011? So many pundits are already making projections about the state of the web in 2012 that many of us are already forgetting the groundbreaking, shocking and at times unnecessary (I'm looking at you, Facebook) highlights of this year.
Search Engine Watch compiled a comprehensive list, beginning with the death of Digg. The downfall of the social news website that let people vote stories up or down occurred following the launch of its "buggy and poor performing" Digg 4, which didn't acclimate to users' needs. Digg's traffic fell by 97 percent year-over-year, and has dropped far behind other social news communities such as Twitter, StumbleUpon and Reddit.
A story about internet innovations wouldn't be complete without mentioning Google. The search engine giant expanded this year to also become a social media powerhouse, launching Google Plus and the +1 button. When logged in, users can use +1 to endorse content on websites they find interesting, which then gets shared with their Google Plus Circles. The platform itself has yet to truly challenge Facebook in the social network space, and its long delay for allowing brand pages may have hurt its reputation, but it may be too early to tell how successful it will be going forward.
The news source notes in a separate article that Google Plus will also attempt to challenge foursquare for check-in supremacy through its Google Offers feature, incentivizing "shout-outs" for local businesses.
According to TechCrunch, when merchants create new offers, they can choose whether to allow a check-in during deal redemption. Customers can then determine who gets to see the check-ins, although some may be required to do so in order to receive the offer.
Other noteworthy events this year, according to SEW, include Google's Panda update, the first of two attempts by the company to improve its results for local search and organic search. Panda penalized sites with low-quality, spammy or duplicate content, and is said to have impacted 12 percent of search results.
The Freshness update affected even more results (35 percent), and gave increased authority to sites that generated regularly updated and relevant content.
Lastly, the passing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs rocked not only the tech universe but the general public itself, many of whom found out about his death using a computer that he invented.