Every couple of months Google shakes up the search landscape and releases algorithm updates, which have SEO managers stressing about what to do next. This month we have seen one of the more comprehensive updates in the form of ‘Hummingbird.’
Recently we have seen examples that Google has eliminated organic keyword data, introduced hashtag value in its search results and most importantly it released Hummingbird (the biggest technological update in the last three years).
What is Hummingbird?
Hummingbird is the next generation of search intelligence. The algorithm went through fundamental re-thinking of how they are going to keep search results relevant. Google has further distanced itself from exact match keyword weight that drove early search results, also search marketers cannot expect instant results from linking their websites to a specific keyword numerous times.
Hummingbird is apparently better at handling conversational search, for example the search query “will it be raining in London this weekend?” As a result of this linguistic boost, relevant content is more important than ever. High-quality viral content will receive more weight from Google. Google are making it harder for businesses to pursue specific keyword focus link building strategies and instead are shifting to a more content-focused approach.
Webmasters in the past used to receive organic search data that would reveal which keywords brought visitors to their sites, now Google have added a further layer of encryption to searches in an effort to promote security. What this means it that webmasters will not have keyword data to guide SEO and is another example of how Google are shifting to a valuing content over keywords.
The power of Social Media
It is no secret that Google values the world of Social Media. It’s own social platform ‘Google +’ is growing faster than any of its competitors. A report from Search Metrics indicated that Google + could surpass Facebook by 2016.
Google recognises hashtagged content better, so by searching for something with a hashtag before, you are more likely to find content from the likes of Twitter, Google + and Tumblr in the SERPs. Google values social data and if you are not regularly interacting with followers and potential customers, you are loosing out, so you better start doing so! Not only will social media help you from an SEO perspective, but it will help your business and website a s whole.