Google Hummingbird (the biggest change to Google’s search engine ever)

Google Hummingbird is the new Google algorithm by Google. September 27, 2013 is Google's official birthday, making Google 15 years old. To celebrate their 15th birthday, Google launched a new "Hummingbird" algorithm, claiming that Google search can be a more human way to interact with users and provide a more direct answer.

Google started using Hummingbird about 30 August 2013, it said. Google only announced the change on September 26.

Google claims that its Hummingbird algorithm offers a more natural way to use its search engines. In the past month Hummingbird was quietly deployed before any announcement was made. Google senior vice president Amit Singhal said that this is the largest algorithm update in three years, the last update was three years before  i.e. the "caffeine plan."

Singhal said that the algorithm can make use of more complex search requests and has a better understanding of the concept of human language, rather than a few scattered words. This new algorithm is a big step forward in the Internet history as searches will be more "human friendly" than ever.

What the Hummingbird Update  means to small businesses is that good relevant content is now truly king. Google will now award sites in the search engine results that have meaningful, relevant, helpful, and original content.  Sites that have duplicate content, slightly changed plagiarized content will be penalized. Also we have noticed that Google recently penalizes sites that have weak or irrelevant links. We will put up a page discussing this in more detail including plans for “bad link recovery”

Companies that have multiple websites, even two, that point to the same business and have similar content are also being penalized. We at West LA  SEO highly recommend  that a company consolidate to one website and make this site an authoritative, Internet valued site, with great original content.

Why Google Hummingbird Means Business As Usual For Many SEOs

Google’s algorithm continues to be a complex mix of factors that weigh the relevancy of a page for a query. That hasn’t changed. While some people may be panicking that their SEO strategy needs to be revamped, if you’ve been progressing with the natural evolution of SEO, there’s nothing to worry about. You’re on the right track. Taking what we know about how Google is trying to improve its search results, here is just a sample of some of the things that continue to matter:

Mobile SEO: Undoubtedly, conversational search is driven in part by the way people search when on their mobile devices — so, mobile optimization is going to continue to be critical.

Structured Data Markup: Providing search engines with as much information as possible about your page content helps them do their job better. Structured data can also improve click-through rates in the search results when displayed in rich snippets.

Google+: Google’s social network is essential in helping to identify your online brand, connecting it with concepts and serving your content in the Google results.

Links: Google may not want SEOs obsessing over PageRank data, but that doesn’t mean links are irrelevant. Links help Google put concepts together on the Web; they also send strong signals to Google about the credibility of your page.

Keyword Optimization & Content Creation: Nowadays, it seems there is a lot of debate over the usefulness of focusing on keywords. But keywords are not dead. Quality content is crucial, and that includes at least some level of keyword optimization.

Start With The User, Execute With Content, Measure By Page

SEO now requires a keener understanding of your audience. It doesn’t start or end with keywords; rather, it starts with the user and an understanding of what your user wants.

Users: What Matters To Them & How Can You Help?

Your content may have four or five different types of users, who are searching for the answer to a query. Understanding what’s being served to which user and catering to those important segments with a good user experience on your site is key.

Currently, personas are talked about more than ever in the search marketing world. Traditional marketers have long since used this model to better understand their product or service user. This depth of understanding is important as you think about the topics your users are interested in and how you can be a solution for them with your content.

Keyword research still guides us to the topics people in our audience are searching for; but, our responsibility as marketers is to go beyond that data. That means having the most useful, most engaging, best quality page for a query – with the appropriate keywords on the page.

And although keyword optimization often happens best when a topic is thoughtfully written, and has enough depth to include many variations of a concept, optimizing your page for specific queries still reinforces the topic of the page.

If you haven’t spent much effort gathering qualitative data about your users, we at West LA SEO believe  now is a good time to start. Surveys, monitoring conversations on social and talking face-to-face with your customers will help you build those personas to better understand what matters to them, so you can execute with content..

The Page: How Is It Performing?

At West LA SEO we’ve been arming our customers with ways to measure our content’s performance at a page level even before Google’s secure search was launched in full. This was not only in anticipation of the change, but also a way to help businesses better understand the metrics that matter. Post-Hummingbird and post-secure search is all about measuring the content, not the keyword. Start measuring what pages are generating the most value for you, and what types of content are generating the greatest ROI. If you have content that ranks well, but isn’t driving traffic or engagement on your site, it’s not doing a good job of satisfying your users. You want to think about metrics like overall traffic to a page, conversion rate and so on.

Then, you can begin to look at groups of pages on your site that best perform on a traffic and revenue level, depending on your goals. In the old paradigm, SEOs may have used a “more content is better” approach. But now, it’s relevancy, credibility, timeliness and quality over quantity. Once you have a picture of page performance on your site overall, you can then begin to make decisions about where you want to focus time and resources on your website.

Hummingbird Speeds Us Into The Future

Hummingbird is a great move for search results and could be a great way for websites to gain more visibility if they focus on the user and the content first.

It may actually be a relief for some SEOs to know that with Hummingbird and some of the other changes we’ve seen Google putting out, it’s a clear message that site owners should stop obsessing over keywords only and start focusing on creating the best web experience possible for their visitors.

Today, instead of: How do I rank for this query? Think: How do I best answer the questions my users have?

WE at West LA SEO can quickly write seo content that is both compelling to your site’s visitors and high in SEO value that Google will reward you in search engine results. Give us  a call to start the process of increasing your business.

WEST LA SEO  (424) 272-6228