Google Hummingbird Update

SEO is an intimidating topic, and an industry that can seem hard to understand or succeed in. It doesn’t help that SEO is also a constantly changing industry. Every few months there seems to be a new update that is bound to change the way SEO works from the ground up. The most recent of these is Google’s Hummingbird algorithm update and overhaul.

In Google Hummingbird Update: What You Need to Know, Brandon does a great job of summing up the major changes to the way things work now. In the weeks following the Hummingbird announcement, we’ve started to put together the pieces and identify what changes might come about in the SEO industry.

The Basics

The bottom line is that SEO is still relevant and at its core, very similar to how it was before. However, moving forward there are going to be some small differences. It used to be that you would find certain keywords to target and then carry out an SEO campaign to rank higher for these keywords. Then it started to be necessary to target long-tail keywords (keywords that are more like key-phrases and are more specific). Now, in addition to the targeting of long-tail keywords, we want to start delivering content that is truly helpful and relevant.

Content has always been the name of the game, but in the past you had to be able to find ways for the search engines to notice your content before it became more exposed and generated its own traffic and authority. With Hummingbird, Google is attempting to remove that step.

Targeted Content and Conversational Search

The largest change with Hummingbird is that Google is improving the capabilities of its algorithm to dissect and understand conversational queries. Google is hoping to identify the question the user is asking, relate it to similar searches in the past, and tailor the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) to the individual.

Your content will finally be king. If you have all of the answers to a user’s question, you are much more likely to show up at the top of the search results than you were before. If the users tend to click on your link more than others, its authority will be recognized by Google, and you will gain Impressions as well as Clicks.

Social Media, SEO, and PPC

Social Media, SEO, and Pay-Per Click advertising go hand in hand in hand.  You could do all the work in the world for you website/company for long-tail keywords and great content and maybe get some good results. But if you are active on Social Media, you can increase your organic link building dramatically.

The article What Factors into Search Rankings can clarify this in more detail, but over the past year social media +1’s, Likes, Retweets, and Shares have risen almost higher than anything else in determining search rankings.

Pay-Per Click advertising also plays a large part in traffic growth nowadays with customized ads based on past searches, website visits, online purchases, etc. What a lot of end users don’t know is the effect they have on their own internet experience, and how much that plays into what they see on the web.

Start improving your search rankings, organic link growth, and traffic to your website today by contacting us here. Leave your questions and comments in the box below!

Photo Credit: Dario Sanches

Jamie Bates