You may or may not have heard of Google’s newest algorithm rollout. Unlike Panda and the late, great Penguin, this new algorithm is reminiscent of sci-fi films featuring self-aware cyborgs. Hummingbird can (sort of) read your mind when you enter certain search terms, but if you are on the other end of the game as a content manager or SEO professional, you’ll need to be creating more for people to read.
In the early days of the Internet, and certainly around the time of the notorious “dot com boom” there was very little value placed on the written word. It wasn’t really until the early 2000s that webmasters, programmers, and other Web professionals began to hire writers; finally understanding the need for content that isn’t just there for keyword stuffing, but there to inform potential customers about their product and services.
Without constant quality content updates, you will fall behind in rankings, and Hummingbird will likely be at least part of the reason. The Hummingbird algorithm is a bookworm and not unlike a strict grammar school teacher, it likes to see its minions writing—writing not just about their product just to keep the content flowing, but writing about newsworthy events, including outbound links, using longer and more thoughtful tags and alt tags, and taking latent semantics highly into consideration.
But beyond good on-page content and fast-moving blogs, Hummingbird also likes to see that you’re adding video content regularly and doing other things to create content diversity, including downloadable books and pamphlets, links to PDFs hosted on other sites, inclusion on Wikipedia, and the use of engaging infographics within blog posts and subpages of your website.
And while this next paragraph may go without saying to many, it can’t be overstated enough: inclusion of links to your social media profiles as widgets, and including RSS feeds to your site’s blog are no longer optional for success—they are imperative aspects of the online presence, and as such, must also be recognized via your website. What’s more, if those social profiles are not updated regularly as well, Hummingbird will see this as a lack of online activity. If you build it they will come… when you keep building onto it everyday.
But there’s something every bit as important to take into consideration. Analytics. To draw a comparison, if you began a diet and did not weigh yourself on the first day, when you get to day 30 and hop on the scale, you’ll have no idea how much progress you have made. The same is true for analyzing your results with Hummingbird. Without a reliable way to look into the world of what is working and what is not, you will never know how good your content is in the eyes of Hummingbird.
And here’s a new fun tidbit that’s been highly anticipated: Hummingbird is highly responsive to those on handheld devices, including smartphones, phablets, tablets, etc. and is also geared toward voice search like Siri and Google through Samsung Galaxy. That means your content does need to be indexed on Google Maps for the sake of making money, especially if you have a brick and mortar location or ecommerce website.
Above all, make sure you aren’t boring your audience and you’re not sending out a constant stream of virtual infomercials. People want to engage—give them that chance by reaching out with questions that will help you answer what you’re doing right or wrong in terms of marketing and sales efforts for the longevity of your online presence. Stay determined and make your message positive; that’s the takeaway from Hummingbird.
Infographic courtesy of: Digital Relevance