Seven Views on Post-Hummingbird SEO

Hummingbird

Hummingbird. (Photo credit: AnnCam.)

Since the introduction of Hummingbird there has been a lot of discussion about where SEO is going. Today I’d like to take a look at some of the scuttlebutt that has been generated in its wake.

Google’s Hummingbird Update: What You Need To Know | Business 2 Community — This is an excellent breakdown of what concerns exist post-Hummingbird. Along with things like the importance of mobile they emphasize the value of content, a strategy we at SixEstate have always endorsed.

It’s hard to stress search relevance enough and content is becoming a huge focus in the eyes of Google now. Since Hummingbird strives to provide a more natural search environment, content on the internet that is more in-depth and naturally worded appears to have an edge over keyword-rich lines of text written solely for search engines in mind. Sites with well-written, high quality content and pages grouped together which are relevant will rank even higher than before with the introduction of Hummingbird. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since Google has been preaching this for a while now. If you’ve seen any backlash it’s from those who are inundated with ‘old’ SEO tactics pertaining to keywords. Those pundits will soon find those ‘old’ tactics without much value with Hummingbird flying around.

Gauging Hummingbird’s Impact on Local SEO | Streetfightmag.com — Once more we see valuable content being the key factor in future SEO. (Emphasis mine.)

Hummingbird reflects a link that is a citation for its usefulness, so our response has to be how to create usefulness that will motivate people to like it, share it, and comment on it. Importantly, you have to be natural; don’t think you can look natural and get away with it over the long term. In fact, Google has statistical analysis that will uncover unnatural link patterns and penalize your website.

This is why content mills suck. Well, one of the reasons anyway. Mass-produced content built around formulae comprise one thing Hummingbird was implemented to eradicate. Nothing is a substitute for fresh material, written by humans, that provides value.

What ‘(Not Provided)’ & Google Hummingbird Mean for Small Business SEO | Search Engine Watch — The evaporation of keyword data post-Hummingbird is, unsurprisingly, the focus of this article. One solution suggested is the creation of a number of “entrance pages” for end users.

Websites can’t grow their entrance pages without introducing new content regularly. While hard to believe, there are many webmasters who don’t update their websites, have no blog, and refuse any assistance.

While introducing new pages of helpful, high-quality content is a great start, the issue of syndication and recognition remains a barrier — particularly in highly competitive keyword spaces.

Funny that, it always comes back to content and value.

SEO: Google’s Hummingbird Changes the Ecommerce Game | Practical Ecommerce — An in-depth look at how Hummingbird parses meaning rather than simply keywords.

Google released its Hummingbird search algorithm under the radar in August. Hummingbird reportedly impacts 90 percent of all search queries. So how does Hummingbird change the game for ecommerce sites?

With Hummingbird, Google is striving for greater speed and accuracy. A big part of accurate results is understanding the searcher’s intent to start with, especially as more searches lean toward the conversational. Google feels that searchers are looking for answers, and they tend to phrase certain types of searches as questions or complex phrases rather than a simple list of keywords.

As a result, Hummingbird has been designed to handle complex queries and natural language: parsing the meaning behind phrases as a whole rather than individual words within a search query.

Google’s Hummingbird Update And The Implications For Video SEO | Reel SEO — Search that looks for meaning and answers is a new take on things. This means that video is going to have to focus more on providing answers.

 For example, if I search ‘how do I clean a silver necklace?’, Google should return a set of results that understands that I’m looking for information or a way of doing something NOT a sales pitch. Whereas in the past the words ‘silver necklace’ would have been the triggers, Hummingbird is now taking into account ‘How do I’ and ‘clean’. We know that video results have always tended to do well on informational searches but now, more than ever, creators need to think about just how they can answer a user question with video content so that they have a chance of ranking well in the blended results. Hummingbird will anticipate the user’s intent and so must you.

SEOs Adapt To Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm | SEO Roundtable — Content’s crown remains intact, although the thrust of what kind of content rules the roost has shifted a bit. The field has widened.

Don’t optimize for keywords, optimize for a satisfied customer from stage one of the buying cycle to the end. Is it that easy? What if you don’t offer all the stages? Well, I assume that is not exactly the point.

Robert believes this will eventually lead to search results that are ‘less a collection of content farms and more a collection of pages created with the user genuinely in mind.’ I am not 100% confident.

Keep in mind, this is just one theory of many and for the most part, the search results did not change that much compared to let’s say Penguin 2.1.

Keywords, and #Hashtags, and Hummingbird! Oh My! | Search Engine Watch — Keyword loading, as you may have noticed by now, is a thing of the past. Search now looks for meaning in much the same way that actual users do.

As the search engine has matured over the last 15 years, its understanding of language has become more sophisticated. Like any other teenager, it can combine vocabulary with grammar to understand the meaning of questions rather than just matching words on page to words in a query. Google has grown up to understand how we communicate and share information with one another.

This is what is most exciting about Internet marketing. The content of a website no longer needs to be artificially loaded with terms meant to attract web crawlers.

The more we produce material that real human readers will enjoy, the more search will understand the communication connection. The digital space continues to become a more accurate reflection the real world.

These seven articles provide a great starting point for understanding the “New SEO.” As you can tell by the excerpts I’ve chosen the big takeaway is that Web properties need to create content that is useful to the reader. For some of us this has always been the plan, for others it is a brave new world of fearsome aspect. There can be little doubt that things will continue to evolve along this path so it’s best to be prepared.

Here at SixEstate we will continue to deploy our best journalists and bloggers on behalf of our clients as we keep an eye on the shifting sands of 21st-century search. After all, content was just re-crowned.

About George Williams

George “Loki” Williams is the community and brand manager for award wining game company Savage Mojo, Ltd. and the owner of SocialGumbo, LLC, an online consultancy specializing in Web content and online communications. Loki has produced content for clients including the Open Society Institute, National Association of Broadcasters, Kobold Press, and Kaiser Permanente. His work has been seen or written about in The New York Times, The BBC, Air America, The Gambit Weekly, and NOLA.com, among others.

  

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