Hummingbird is the latest update to the Google search algorithm and it’s a reminder to many UK businesses to finally get their act together and create good, original content.
Companies should be creating good content and uploading it at least two or three times a week to their websites to meet Panda and Penguin changes. Hummingbird will make that process even more necessary and here’s why.
In a nutshell Hummingbird is a response to the rise of mobile devices and voice searches, rather than typed in search queries. Google say that search results will be based on analysis of the entire search query, so those sites which still mainly target narrow keywords may see a drop in page rank for some content, which is built around say `car insurance’ or `iPhone 5 reviews.’
Another feature of Hummingbird worth noting is that it will refine results based on direct comparisons. For example `iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy 3,’ or Is the Jaguar F Type better than a Porsche 911?’
Greater Emphasis on The Knowledge Graph
The update also makes more use of Google’s Knowledge Graph – a feature which one `SEO expert’ informed me, `would make very little difference to SEO’ about 8 months ago. That expert used to work for a Manchester agency by the way, and has since `moved on.’
The world of SEO really can be very fluid indeed.
If you aren’t sure what the Knowledge Graph is, or how to use features like Google Authorship then you really should start thinking about using writers who are experts in your business niche.
Author rank has become a big part of Google’s overall aim to provide search results with `expert credibility.’
This is why links from sites like the BBC, mainstream daily newspapers or TV channels still carry some weight, and are worth pursuing. Good PR often translates to good site traffic in under 12 hours.
Your site needs fresh content as often as possible. The content needs to be identified to Google’s bots as relevant, useful, shareable, and don’t forget the human factor – make it readable. Entertain and inform, just like the BBC mantra from days of old.
So pay attention cheapskate business people; don’t buy in some cheap blogs, or use dreadful syndicated PR fluff on your site, or think that employing a semi-literate intern, on pittance wages, to recycle copy thieved from the web will work. It won’t.
Unless You Hire Trained SEO Content Producers, Your Business Will Be Nowhere On Google
I hate to break bad news to the Alan Sugars of this world who think that business is all about selling, and that creativity and knowledge doesn’t really matter. Because when it comes to getting your content on Position 1, Page 1 of Google, it still does.
Yes, you need geeks like Web Developers and Designers to make your site work and meet the technical criteria that Google and Yahoo prefer. PPC campaigns can help Page Rank, plus using TV, radio or even newspaper ads can also drive traffic, because they prompt keyword heavy search queries.
But all that marketing spend is just a part of the SEO strategy – you do have a strategy, right?
Without the magic words, and photos and video too, your site will be almost invisible, somewhere on page 4 or 5 of Google’s search results. You need well written copy, SEO-optimsed when uploaded in the CMS and make sure all your photos are tagged and described properly too. `phone pic 1′ doesn’t tell Google much, does it?
Fact – People Are Lazy
Here’s one fact worth knowing; Cornell University used eye tracking to discover that about 80% of people click on the TOP THREE page results.Read the study results here.
No matter what people say about scrolling through pages of search results, the reality is people are impatient and lazy – we all want it now. So get your SEO act together.
Or see you on page seven. Maybe.