The Google Hummingbird Update & Your SEO
Hummingbird & SEO: Sweet or Sour?
Last week Google made news about two important milestones: 1) it was the big G’s 15th birthday (happy belated!) and 2) it unveiled more information about its latest algorithm update – Hummingbird.
An algorithm, simply put, it is the mathematical equation Google uses to determine search relevance. This particular update just happens to be the largest one it has made in over a decade. When you take into consideration how far technology has come since 2001 (picture the cell phone you carried then) you figure that this must be pretty major; and that’s what led many businesses to beg the question: how will the affect my business and its SEO ranking?
The answer: it really won’t affect it much if you were doing it correctly in the first place.
In my last blog I covered the impact that tablet and smart phones have made on how consumers search the web. We search from home on tablets, we search on the go with our smart phones and we search hands-free with voice-activated queries.
What You Need to Know About SEO
As users push the boundaries, Google has no choice but to keep up and stay relevant while doing so. The end goal is to best serve their vast array of users by delivering search results that directly mirror the user’s intent. The way Google retrieves data will not change, but the way that they are displayed will be altered to best meet the searcher’s demands. The emphasis is no longer on latching on to keywords entered, but rather on the query itself.
- A) Your website delivers original content that conveys a clear and concise message (i.e. product/service offered).
- B) You are blogging on at least a semi-regular basis. Blogs offer your business the opportunity to be found organically by building itself on a foundation of topic-specific keywords and offers a more conversational tone, a human aspect if you will, to your work. They also easily lend themselves to the social network and can be shared across social media platforms – a point I will make in my next bullet.
- C) You are taking advantage of the myriad of social media outlets. Like I previously stated, there are many ways to reach a potential audience and social media allows perhaps the most outlets. Here you can not only target new prospects, but re-engage an existing fan base with contests, new product launches and oh yeah – blogs. The more your write, the more chance you have to connect with your leads.
- D) All of the above.
If you answered D) all of the above, you are already on the right path with your SEO and ultimately this new update will have little effect on you or your business. If you have taken the time to analyze your target audience’s intent, your page has more potential than ever to rank highly based on a closely matched search.
However, if you’re not exactly a whiz with words and you have a hard time distinguishing a Tweet from a Timeline, the good news is there is always someone out there willing to take the blogging/media blast burden off you and your staff. Small businesses typically run on smaller budgets, especially when they are just getting off the ground; but investing in a good copywriter or at least having someone get the initial setup of a solid social media/PPC campaign is a worthwhile move when it comes to setting a solid foundation toward your SEO.