Has Google changed the way we approach SEO?
With Google’s release of Hummingbird, some people are thinking SEO is dead. Well it’s not true. Even with the release of Hummingbird, Google is saying there is nothing new or different about SEO that we need to worry about, guidance remains the same.
The fact is the fundamentals haven’t changed, which are:
- Engaging and original content is key
- Proper and clean SEO back links are important
- Optimization for mobile is a must with an estimated 50% of all traffic being mobile
- Don’t saturate your content with too many keywords, be careful with placement and use with moderation
- Reviews and Social Media engagement is important
Hummingbird approaches search engine queries with an entirely new algorithm. Hummingbird will take a search engine query using long-tailed keywords and try to decipher the context with the goal to provide results that actually answer our questions. Google created Hummingbird because of a promise they made to answer our questions. Google knows that more and more people are using their mobile devices to search and how important it is to understand a question, especially when you are pressed for time or doing something like driving.
The improvements of search and its effects on SEO
With the introduction of Hummingbird came the Information Card. When we type a question into Google, the question is then displayed on the search screen, along with the results. Google then will check if the query is in Google’s Knowledge Graph, if it is an Information Card is displayed with the relevant facts listed along with a list of sites with more information.
We work hard on our SEO and work on providing content that is interesting and answering questions with thorough answers. We don’t expect the answer to the questions appearing to the searcher before we get a chance to impress them with our hard work. This is what Hummingbird is supposed to do, it shows the searcher the answer in the form of an “Information Card” displaying it right at the top of the results. How much traffic are we losing with this “Information Card” and how is it affecting our CTR and CRO?
SEO is not affected by Hummingbird.
You can improve your ranking in search engines by continuing to provide interesting and unique content. We will have to compete with Google’s Information Cards, however it is only currently on the Google Chrome Browser.
How long before Google’s Information Cards reach other platforms? We don’t have an answer, however the things to remember with Hummingbird are that keywords matter less, long tailed keywords matter more and content and answering questions matters most. You need to research the questions being posed the most in your niche and build content to answers those questions.
Here are a few things that can help:
- Using more long tail keywords
- More entrance pages with unique content answering questions with thorough answers
- Researching news and media websites for your niche and creating unique content from current stories and trends
- Videos are important, some people are visual learners
Hummingbird creates the perfect opportunity for smaller websites to gain more exposure.
Don’t panic! Big mistake people are making is to change their existing content. You know the old saying, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”? That saying applies here. Changing or altering the content on your current site will only hurt your ranking. Keep it natural. When Google releases updates to their algorithm, they have watchdog programs for those sneaky webmasters looking to take advantage of the changes. Content marketing is key, it is always a good idea to take advantage of any and all of the numerous services that Google and social media offer us free of charge. Videos on YouTube for How To’s or answering questions. The ability to share and post on social media and start trends.
A new look at keywords
Hummingbird does strengthen the role of long tailed keywords, however with Secure Search, which encrypts the search data of keywords effectively hiding that information from marketers, it appears that Google is trying to reduce the importance of keyword optimization and force webmasters to appease the searcher. In other words, it is no longer enough to draw traffic to a website. We have to be more specific and target specific traffic by answering specific questions for our niche within the content. This cannot be done with just broad stroke keywords.
With the Hummingbird update long tail keywords are an effective way to search for specific information. Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point-of-purchase. The potential customer who uses long tail keywords is obviously more informed and therefore much further along in the sales funnel than those who do not use them.
The name of the Game is Original Unique Content and everything we are currently doing to optimize our websites should continue to be our focus with the exception of long tail keyword optimization. Long Tail Keyword Generators and Mining Software will start to gain in popularity more than ever.
It is a brave new world in internet marketing and Google is leading the charge slowly but surely toward a better way to search for what we need. If you have a website, now is the time to adapt and prepare your websites and blogs for whatever may be coming next. It is anyone’s guess what the future holds. It may well be that we will have a better understanding of where Google is leading us upon the release of Hummingbird’s rolling upgrades. Until then, content and long tail keywords are the order of the day.
The more entrance points a website has, the better off it will be. This means, more pages, more content, and more links that lead to these pages. No matter which way you look at it, with the Hummingbird update it all boils down to long tail keywords and content.