Hummingbird is now in place and the latest Penguin updates, which Google’s Matt Cutts announced recently, are affecting about 1 percent of all search engine queries. Read Danny Sullivan’s analysis of the Penguin updates here.
Time to do some test searches and see how the results come in.
The interesting thing about Google’s home page now is that News, Play, You Tube etc are gathered under an app-like icon on the top right of the page, not listed as menu tabs.
I think some users are simply too dense/lazy to realise where these tabs have gone, so I estimate that getting content indexed in Google News will become even less important in future, for some brands. People simply won’t click on the tab and open it. In my view, getting your news content shared on G+ and Twitter could be a better strategy.
Test Search Case Study: Jaguar F Type
A search on Google produces Autocar, Autotrader, Jeremy Clarkson and Chris Evans review content on P1. Interestingly, the top review is from Car magazine and is a group test with Jag vs Porsche vs Audi in the meta title.
One Hummingbird change was that reviews based around DIRECT comparisons – like iPhone 5s vs Galaxy S4, or Tesco cornflakes vs Kelloggs etc would feature more prominently – as Google wants to provide content that answers specific consumer related questions.
So my tip is incorporate more `versus’ type content onto your company website, especially the news and new products sections.
Test Case 2: How Smaller Car Insurance Sellers Can Compete with The Big Comparison Sites
For the last five years or so UK car insurance selling online has been dominated by big comparison sites like Go Compare, the Meerkats, Moneysupermarket, Confused.com and Moneysaving Expert ( which is now part of Moneysupermarket.com by the way)
A typical short tail keyword search like `cheaper car insurance’ reveals the same old faces peppering P1 of Google. But if you’re a smaller broker or underwriter, how can you compete with the big boys TV, radio and PPC adwords spend?
You can do this by researching longer keyword searches, analysing social media and checking forums for typical
questions. For example, if there’s a thread on Mumsnet that ISN’T about beakers, breastfeeding fascism or wayward children, then its often about the cost of things. So see what phrases crop up and build a spreadsheet so you can figure out your own Google trends.
I checked on Mumsnet and words like `telematics, black box, younger, fronting, no NCD’ and many others kept popping up in the threads.
So if you produce a page on your site, or a blog post, with a nice even spread of these words, PLUS a direct `quote vs quote’ sample for say a 19 year old new driver, you could well get a high page result in what is arguably the most competitive SEO sector in the UK.
I typed in, `best insurance for new driver telematics’ and found a G+ blog post (quite a spammy, recycled press release one at that) was placed very high, with content from the Daily Telegraph and This is Money also on P1. A You Tube video by Confused.com also had a good result.
All that demonstrates two crucial things;
1. Google related content on OTHER channels ( G+ blog posts and You Tube) is getting an artificially high result.
2. Penguin and Hummingbird mean that original reviews, with properly researched facts and figures are also likely to rank a bit higher now than say 12 months ago.
The SEO game has changed on Google – but it’s still Google’s game. Never forget that.