Tips in the SEO Struggle against the Hummingbird

October 24, 2013

Hummingbird, the latest iteration in Google’s continuing quest to improve its search-engine results, has the SEO crowd concerned. Everything PR offers these folks some advice in, “What Content Strategies Work for Google Hummingbird SEO.” SEO professionals, who have built their careers by exploiting vulnerabilities in a service that is being constantly updated, can be tenacious. The article points out that, with Hummingbird, Google is now keeping back what used to be one of SEO’s primary tools, the keyword:

“Although keyword data is no longer provided, it doesn’t mean that Google stopped using keywords as a signal for its algorithm – it just means that you don’t know about it. You cannot know which keywords perform, how customers find you in search… Creating content seems an impossible guess work, that may, or may not lead anywhere.

“In fact, things are not that complicated. As always, instead of focusing on general keywords, focus on the ‘long tail.’ Optimize for the most relevant phrases likely to be used by searchers to find information. Hummingbird seems a bit more intelligent than Google’s previous algorithm, allowing the search engine to parse full questions (as opposed to parsing searches word-by-word).”

The write-up explains that Google’s changes are in pursuit of a more conversation-like interface, and recommends making one’s content “conversation-worthy.” Here’s a thought—perhaps content written to communicate ideas and information is naturally more conversational than content crafted as a search-results ploy.

Cynthia Murrell, October 24, 2013

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