Google has recently made some major changes to it’s search algorithm and also how it handles search analytics. Yes, Google has made changes that you need to be aware and that will have an immediate affect on you as an online marketer.
Google announced a major change to it’s algorithm this week in what is being considered a major overhaul of its search engine. The change is expected to affect Approximately 90% of all search queries. “Hummingbird”, as Google has called this algorithmic update actually went into action nearly 1 month ago. Fortunately, unlike previous updates like Penguin which sent SEOers into panic mode because of the drastic shift in search results, Hummingbird has been a bit more friendly.
The most notable change is the way in which Google search now handles complex questions as queries. Google has essentially improved its understanding of human speech patterns. Most users no long search for things using key words or phrases but instead tend to ask Google questions. According to Google this has been a recent trend over the past couple years.
For example the new algorithm improves upon finding search results for a complex question like the following:
What is the nutritional value of corn?
In recent years, you may have been returned a list of results to various food and nutrition sites. Now, google compiles a list of information and displays the relevant information on the search results page.
This is worrisome for many web sites because now users may not click through to any search results – the information is already there.
No doubt this could have a serious affect on many sites, including yours.
The second part of this update affects mobile users who utilize voice searches. As mentioned above, Hummingbird improves upon voice-based search which is becoming more important as people use smartphones more to find information. It handles human speech patterns instead of simple keyboard phrases or keywords.
With the rising increase of mobile smart phone devices and tablets, this really shouldn’t have come as a surprise.
Another major change made, not related to Hummingbird, that should have Marketers scurrying for life rafts is the decision by Google switch all searches to encrypted searches.
What this means
Websites will no longer be able to track users by the keywords they use to power their searches. Many SEO and marketers use the knowledge from keywords as a way to develop their online marketing plans. For example, if I know that people who use the keyword search red nylon dog collar, I would make sure that my landing pages, product descriptions, ads, etc… include the words red nylon dog collar.
Not having the ability to see this valuable keyword information might have many online marketers fearing the their future. But the news isn’t all bad. The idea of being ranked first on the search results for particular keyword is really old school SEO thinking and the practice of only the laziest and the worst SEO companies.
How your marketing should change
If you don’t know by now, content is king. As an online marketer or SEO expert you will be forced to change your focus from keyword rankings and focus on providing high quality content that serves your as useful or entertaining content that can be shared across multiple social mediums. Great content will land you more visitors and more social shares. Google loves that and your clients will too!