Google Hummingbird, Your Business Website - IMPACT
The biggest change in search in 12 years and it will affect your business.
It is important to view Google and it's purpose in context to the past 12 years looking into the future. Google is not just a search engine. It is a highly motivated company that is constantly looking for solutions that will spark people to create everything from apps to content to be part of Google's grand plan. Why participate? It's one of the most important aspects of your search engine promotion techniques, but not the only one.
Once upon a time Google was a free-for-all. Black Hat search engine optimization techniques ran wild and promoted many companies to the top of search a decade ago. Eventually the server farms took over the first page of searches and I have no doubt Google saw a user decline as well as a revenue decline before they started to know which direction to head to cut of the head of a growing beast.
So then came Penguin and Panda the algorithms that changed the lives of many hacks doing pretty well on the web. Those Black Hat techniques came back, and bit them in the tuchas when Google dropped them to the bottom of the heap.
Search got much better.
But not perfect.
Now Hummingbird the most recent change incorporating Penguin and Panda. So far it may sound like a zoo to you but Hummingbird will now look at over 200 signals coming from your website to determine search rank and most likely page rank. Inbound links to your site need to relate to your product, service or whatever you do. A link from a body shop to a bakery has very little credibility unless you do some work around it. Include a Chamber link and other businesses grouped by Zip code and data that has relationships; addresses, streets, club membership, etc. and include other relevant links, but only if it has a really important bearing. Otherwise if you are a body shop, links from distributors, do-it-yourself sites, blogs are all great links because they have a higher relational value.
Internal links and anchors show organization [if all your links work] and Google's spiders will like that and not pass over your site. Internal links and anchors is guaranteed to be one of the 200 items Google will be looking at.
Google will not tell you a thing except try to steer you in right direction through the Google Webmaster site and videos. If they gave out the details, someone would figure out how to skirt Hummingbird. So without details what can you do that will not be so brainy that you have to hire someone? What can you do in your office without having to add another contract to your expenses?
There are some simple tools that are free. You need to take command of your digital future.
1. Do a search on your company. What competitors come up in the first 10 slots? Where do you come up in a search? Review content, Meta tags and structure of the five websites that come back in your SERP [search engine results page].
2. Take a good look at your content. Review for call to action, value and content. Ask when was the last time you changed your content? Do you have some pages on your site that are changed frequently? Google and other search engines like to see you are an active website owner.
You add to the search mix when you create content. This creates a better search, a better Google product and a happy user. When you consistently add content, you become credible.
3. Do a Title search.
Restrict a search so that all of the keywords must appear in the body text
Sample search: Search for pages with search commands in their body text
allintitle:CMSP.com = my companies pages that contain CMSP.com in the title
allintitle:"nurses" site:cmsp.com = just my companies images of nurses
4. Do a "Related" search. related:CMSP.com and you will see my closest competitors are NIH and Shutterstock. This is important to review that Google sees as your competitor.
5. At my SEO-TV website, I have a list of free tools to give you more insight into keywords, strategy, and link research.
6. Make sure on your website you have at least one page you can update everyday. Make some changes! This can be a blog post or just one or two lines. Best spot for this is on your index.html or welcome page.
7. Create an editorial calendar for your business. Spend some time and make at least 12 topics you are going to write about every month. Start out with a 12 topic list and increase the topics to one a week. If you feel ambitious, make it once a day. There is a reason CNN's site is usually listed first in a serp.
8. Distribute your content outside of your website. Post links or teaser text on social sites. Can your content be converted to articles for article marketing? An email series, posts for your fan page at Facebook or a Google community?
9. Create a weekly workflow for posting, tweeting and kvetching. Each deserves time on a daily basis, well maybe less kvetching. Consistency is key and expanding the places you post are very important. Gaining new friends at each will give you the ablility to cultivate different data to examine and improve results. Improvise.
10. If you don't have Google Analytics please take the time and hook it up before you start #1. Taking the time to review what people are doing on your site is as important as posting content. In fact, it controls the subject material and where you should post links internally.
Content marketing will keep you ahead of the pack and one step ahead of Google's changes. They like content because it is good for their business model. They don't like sites that try to game the system and never will.
If you concentrate on valued content, distribution and good backlinks you will never be affected by algorithm changes at Google. They will always like you. How do I know? My company CMSP.com has been on page 1 of Google for 16 years.
Next Post: Internal Links
Mike Fisher is the founder and director of Custom Medical Stock Photo, CMSP.com and has been working on the web since 1993, created CMSP.com in June 1994, incorporated online search and ecommerce in 1999.
In 2009 the SEO-Tool-Store.com was opened giving users access to an aggregated suite of business promotion tools.