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hummingbirdHave you heard of Google’s new ‘Hummingbird’ search algorithm?  Perhaps you have, but aren’t sure what it means for your company’s online presence, or how you approach search engine optimization.  Essentially, Google, the Internet’s dominant search engine, has made changes in order to deliver more relevant results to the longer, more complex queries people use today when searching for products, services, and information.

Search engine optimization has changed dramatically from what it was in the past; today, creatingquality content that answers users’ questions and provides value is a huge part of SEO.  Content should be not only engaging and informative, but “shareable,” content so compelling people want to share with their friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

Quick explanation of the Hummingbird search algorithm

While the term ‘search algorithm’ may sound a bit intimidating, it simply describes the way Google sorts through data on the web (website pages, blog posts, etc.) in order to return the most relevant results to those performing searches on the Internet.

Is search engine optimization dead?

Absolutely not!  Search engine optimization is just as alive as ever; what IS dead, however, is crafting content for the purpose of keyword optimization only, and gathering as many inbound links as possible regardless of their quality or relevancy.Here’s what’s important in order for your website to rank highly in the results pages today:

  • Fresh, unique, quality content.  More than ever before, creating content focused on user experience rather than search engines is critical – and adding new content frequently is essential.
  • Relevant, quality links.  Google still uses the number of inbound links in ranking websites, however it’s important that the websites linking to yours are relevant, trusted sites.  When it comes to links, think quality over quantity.
  • Diversify search terms and phrases.  More people than ever before are searching using what used to be referred to as ‘long-tail keywords,’ that is search terms that are longer and more complex.  When creating content for your website pages and blog posts, it’s still important to optimize for keywords – but use synonyms and other longer phrases your target audience uses to search for your products and services as well.

Today, search engine optimization is approached a bit differently, focused more on starting conversations and sharing than making sure your pages have the ‘right’ keyword density.  Entertain and inform your readers, provide compelling content regularly, and you shouldn’t have to worry about how this recent change will impact your business.

Regardless of what companies think about Google’s new Hummingbird algorithm, you won’t have to worry too much about how it affects your website’s ranking or online presence if you focus on great quality content.  Search engine optimization really isn’t a ‘dirty’ word; it’s simply a matter of how it’s done today!

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