Is Google’s most recent algorithm change big news or much ado about nothing? It all depends on what your site has been using to promote itself in the recent past! Today’s article is going to shed some much-needed light on the fact and the fiction behind Google algorithm changes and more specifically, what it means for social media marketing and online promotions.
Maximize readers will already be familiar with most of the changes implemented via Google’s recent round of algorithm updates…although not necessarily by the actual name “Hummingbird”. Why is there disconnect between reporting and naming? Pure and simple…Google started rolling it out weeks before making the announcement official. Maximize was already reporting on the new trends but had no actual name with which to call it. In any case, the outcome is still much the same…the changes have become official and permanent. What is less understood is the long-term impact on online, mobile and B2B marketing. Make no mistake about it; Hummingbird will have a long lasting impact!
So, what is Hummingbird? Basically it’s another algorithm update that moves the search engine one-step closer to authentic or natural language query search. To put it another way, rather than relying upon keywords or key phrases, Google is turning to intent of the search. This has profound implications for SEO, content marketing, SEM and even social media! Why? Because rather than creating content around specific keywords, Google is going to increasingly rank content based upon how it would appear in a natural conversation or question/answer session. The emphasis is entirely on relevance and specific relevance at that.
The Impact on SEO
Clearly the impact on SEO is profound especially for those sites, which relied heavily upon keywords without associated originality or relevance. On the other hand, those business owners who have built up a strong following of all-original and diverse content are beginning to reap the benefit! Already some SEO firms and associated sites have realized a 10 to 20 percent increase in organic search results for diverse content. Chances are some tweaking may still be needed to truly optimize results. These should include….
Re-Evaluate Keywords -
Keywords are not dead but rather than rely upon a handful of generic keywords, find ones people actually use in a conversation then build content around that. For example, this site deals mainly with social media marketing and management but readers will have a wide variety of associated interest areas such as content marketing, outsourcing, white label solutions and much more. By offering full articles on each of these topics, our ranking and reader interest remain aligned!
Once you have a full understanding of all the relevant keywords, it’s time to use long-term keywords to build a long-term sustainable approach to both SEO and social media marketing.
Reduce Bounce Rate -
For those who want to know if they are on the right track, keep an eye on those bounce rates!
Increase Reader Response Rates -
Another excellent method is to measure social media response rates. Response rates encourage sharing, track over time and take a long-term perspective.
Ask & Answer Questions -
Ask yourself a question…then create content around that idea. Directly or indirectly, every article should provide valuable information, resources or advice. In short, create content that is creative and compelling.
Emphasize Meaning -
We’ve said it before and will say it again, the best strategy is to offer value. Google is going to reward those who stop trying to game the system and instead, build a community around solid information.
Keep it Fresh -
A lot has been written about the benefits of keeping content fresh but within the past few months, it’s become more important than ever.
Other Google Changes
Before closing, there are a couple of other important changes taking place in Google search; we’ve already reported on the recent announcement that Google will discontinue much of the search data by making all searches anonymous. The work around is to use paid search strategies like AdWords. For those hoping to find other organic alternatives; it’s going to get very tough very soon.
The second major change is the active removal of any/all pirated links/content. Google is getting very serious about DMCA requests and is reportedly removing suspected links to pirated content (of any type…movies, music, books, articles etc) at a rate of about 8 per second! That amounts to well over 5 million in the last week of September 2013 alone! What does that mean for your site? It’s time to review all prior content. If the content is not original and you don’t own full rights to it then do yourself a favor … remove it before Google finds it. The demand for high quality content is beginning to rise exponentially but there are still plenty of people using nickel and dime writers; invest in the best possible content you can afford before prices go up! Once word gets out on the street that crummy content will no longer suffice, expect steady and significant price increases to become the norm.
Last but not least, savvy Maximize Social Media readers will want to speak with their managers about the advantages of HTML 5 for semantic language markup. Although currently there is still time before this becomes critical, there are distinctive advantages for those wanting to get the leading edge advantage.
Share your thoughts! Have your organic search results gone up or down as a result of Hummingbird changes? Is the loss of organic keyword data hurting you yet? Thinking about implementing HTML6 or waiting awhile longer? We love to hear from you!