Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Google Hummingbird Effects in SEO

What is Google Hummingbird?

It is the new update to the search logic of Google, which aims to understand the context of your content, rather than just reading and identifying the keywords that you use. Typically in SEO practice, content writers insert keywords into their written work (whether in a natural way or via stuffing it unnecessarily) so that when Google reads their page, it will see the keywords then display your link as a relevant page.

Of course, this is exploited and abused by other parties and Google wants to correct that. Apart from Penguin and Panda, the Hummingbird updates aims to:

•    Change the way how searches are done
•    Minimize the impact of actual keywords and instead, focus on the whole context of the page
•   Social media is included in the relevance of the search hits, so viral content weighs more than normal published content

Unlike Google Panda and Penguin, which are actually just updates to existing search logic, the Google Hummingbird is almost a rewrite. Google does not just penalize bad SEO practices, it also altered the way it does its real-time search.

If you are blogger who writes compelling and inspirational content, you need not worry about Hummingbird. In fact, you might be pleased to know that your most shared blog posts (especially from Google+) will rank higher when searched via Google.

Who will “suffer” or feel the dramatic change from Hummingbird? Those website who rely on:

•    Keyword-heavy “blog” posts and articles
•    Keyword-stuffed title tags and meta tags
•    Link farming
•    Doorway pages

And other abused SEO strategies.

Since this new search logic intends to read and understand the context of WHY you are searching using a particular search string, this means that Google is now going beyond the actual keywords typed. Google is implementing an artificial intelligence of sorts, trying to read your mind as to why you are searching for “mobile design tips”.

To help enhance your web site even with the Hummingbird roll out, we highly recommend the following actions:

•   Write longer content so that Google can further understand the context of your page. Skip 200-word entries and instead, write longer, 800-word articles with several subheadings (don’t forget to mark subheads as h2, h3 and h4).
•    Don’t use your keywords for more than twice or thrice in an article. Use synonyms or explain your terms in a natural way.
•    Make your content direct to the point and enhance it with images, links to relevant video files etc.
•   Always have social media plugins for sharing around your content for easier linking to social networking sites.
•    Always have a Google+ button for sharing
•  Always include a comments section (can be powered by Disqus as a plugin) to stimulate conversations from your readers and at the same time, to welcome links from your audience.
•    Create content that is not so time-sensitive. This is also called as “evergreen” content.
•    Be patient while waiting for your search ranking to improve. Do not resort to short cuts or worse, black hat SEO tricks.
•    Link your new posts to old posts to make navigation to old posts easier for your readers.
•    Allow for reviews for those who are in the eCommerce or online selling business.
•   If you are in the news industry, revive old news by coming up with a “related posts” section, visible when reading the latest news.

It is definitely not the end of the world and in fact, this new search rules help clean up the spam that you see when you search Google. This also means that Google values those who spend time in coming up with creative and useful content, versus those who just rewrite everything that they see online.

Your writing does not have to be perfect. The more important thing is if you provide useful, practical, unique and compelling content that your readers come back to view more. 

Photo By: Idio