Why would you even care about what Google thinks?
Google launched its Hummingbird search algorithm in August. Hummingbird reportedly impacts 90 per cent of all search queries. You should care about this. You should care a lot. If any of your business is produced by online sources, this affects you.
Unlike Google's Penguin and Panda launches which were just updates to its established algorithm, Hummingbird is a complete overhaul. Google's search master Amit Singhal said Hummingbird is the first redesign since 2001 that a Google algorithm has been so totally made-over.
Google's recent algorithm update, referred to as Hummingbird, was set up to handle more complex searches. This upgrade cranks up Google's ability to understand the meaning between word combinations rather than just looking for keywords. In the geeky SEO world we exist in, this is known as LSI, or Latent Semantic Indexing, and is getting baby steps nearer to the holy grail of computers understanding natural human writing.
Keyword Optimization Has become Old News
Reading between the lines on Google's hottest update seems to point towards the diminishing impact of keywords just sitting on a page. This hypothesis is supported by another recent switch by Google to encrypt all keyword search data. Online business marketers won't be able to (easily) determine which keyword phrases sent individuals to their web site. This foundation of SEO metrics has been crucial for optimizing an internet site for specific key terms and phrases.
Google is being very clear in pushing search marketers to optimize using good content and actually generate value for audiences as opposed to keywording and mechanical whiz-bang.
Classic Marketers will undoubtedly Win
The 1st decade of SEO was much like the Wild West: we all tweaked the technical elements, and threw content all over to obtain links, results and listings. Clients unfortunately encouraged this as the folks receiving SEO bids were those who took a low-price winner, short-term, slash and burn approach (we refused and happily are still here). This left businesses to crash down in the search engines as algorithms changed and the SEO agencies simply shrugged, and moved on to new clients with new tricks. As the search engines have evolved, this cowboy practice is becoming obsolete because the latest algorithms can understand meaning, context and quality without having quite a lot of the technical backend methods of telling Google what's on your pages.
Today, good SEO just looks a lot like "marketing".
Marketers specialize in delighting our audiences for clients, building attention-grabbing content that is cool enough to share and promoting a good image of the brand. Technical optimization is losing to real world optimization. Gaming link building is losing to digital public relations.
SEO isn't dead, it is just getting "more real" daily.
The cut-rate, shadowy, technical SEO firms overseas are becoming irrelevant as they now have to embrace brand building, actual communication and business goals. This is harder work, and some vendors aren't up for the challenge.
Focus on "Long-tail" Searches
Long-tail keywords is the term used for long search queries that are more detailed in nature. These are generally presented in question forms, like "how do I shed pounds in my hips quick?" For a long time, great marketers have been using this lucrative traffic segment to increase online sales. Long-tail keywords are unsurprisingly really specific. This makes them fruitful in search, because a person with a very specific question is typically more motivated and in a position to buy "right now" if you resolve their question or give a compelling solution to their predicament.
Consider it this way: if you were selling vehicles, would you rather contend with a customer asking for "a car," or would you rather talk to the prospect asking for "a Black Camaro with tan leather seats, a v8 engine, and a stick shift"? Long-tail search phrases convert at 3 x the rates of general key-phrases.
The Hummingbird update is currently honoring the longer tail searches in an effort to give better search engine results for more specific and complex search queries.
While quite a few Search Engine Optimization firms are scrambling and crying about the changes, many are popping champagne (well, sparkling cider in the workplace anyway…), and are excited about what this will signify to the clients of SEO.
Like they have done after most major rollouts, The larger and better SEO companies are now even offering free evaluations to help companies figure out how much they are affected. Check out search engine optimizing complimentary evaluation