Written By: Paige Gruner
What is Hummingbird and How Will it Affect Me?
Google’s most recent algorithm update, Hummingbird, has marketers and businesses who have been investing in SEO, asking if this is going to affect their efforts in a negative way.
The best answer is no, your SEO efforts are still in tact, unless you haven’t been playing by the rules. You still have a fighting chance at improving your rankings using proper SEO.
Google has many factors that come into play when it comes to how you rank on the search engine. The newest addition being an emphasis on natural search queries. In the past Google would use keywords to generate results for your search, now Google is able to provide relevant information that answers your specific questions and the intent behind what you are asking Google.
For instance, if you were to search on Google, “What does responsive web design look like?” The search engine will pull up images, videos and articles that answer the question being asked.
Hummingbird also keeps your location in mind, so if you are searching on your mobile device for a local web developer firm, Google knows where you are located and is able to pull up web developers in your area.
Content is King
Google has the ability to determine what type of query is being typed, allowing businesses and marketers to be able to write content specific articles and blogs that users will want to read in order to answer their questions.
Besides these slight changes, the same rules apply, content is still king, linking to your content on relevant forums, blogs, and websites are still very important, and long tailed keywords/ phrases are going to play a major factor in how your company ranks on Google.
There’s no getting around content, you must provide original content so that search engines have the opportunity to find you. You must write for humans though, not computers. You can certainly add in specific keywords and keyphrases that you know Google will crawl and use, but still making your copy entertaining and natural enough for your reader.
Finding your niche and creating relevant but also creative content on an ongoing basis is key. Videos and Infographics are another great way to visually answer user questions.
Do This Not That
If you haven’t already done so, claim authorship on Google + and tie your blog to your page. This is a great way to share your content and share information with everyone in your circles.
If you already have decent content on your website or blog, don’t change the articles to reflect the new update by making them “how to” articles and re-wording your existing content. This will make more of a disaster and might actually do more harm then good. Instead, just write new articles that answer your users questions, more content equals more opportunity to be seen on Google, and rule of thumb is to write 500 word articles or more.
Keep in mind that Google isn’t there for websites or businesses, everything that they do, all the updates and their guidelines are for the users searching on Google. Google tries its best to provide the best answers to questions and sift out anything that isn’t relevant, so follow the rules, write original content, and use keyphrases that will answer your consumers potential questions.