- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On December 16, 2013
In this day of constant Internet connectivity, your website is one of the most important things you can do to promote your business. So when Google makes a big change to its search algorithm you probably want to know about it.
Well, Google just make a big change to its search algorithm. Google doesn’t want to broadcast the changes it makes to its search technology because it will cause even more gaming of the system. Google’s objective is to provide the best results for searchers.
With the latest Google update, which is called Hummingbird, Google changed several things that can have a significant effect on your website.
What’s New in Google Hummingbird?
Google updates its search algorithm constantly, but usually in not such a large fashion as this change. In the latest update, which took effect in late August 2013, over 90 percent of all search results were affected, making it one of the largest search algorithm updates since 2001.
One of the key updates was the ability to sort through and display results for longer search queries (such as “best place to get hot stone treatment in Bergen County” vs. “spa”). The hope, on Google’s end, is to have more relevant search results surface to the top.
Back in 2012, Google started on a journey it called “secure search”. The goal was to keep people from keyword stuffing their content in order to rank higher in the Google search results. Basically what Google did was hide the keywords that attracted visitors to your site.
Whereas before you’d see “great hamburgers in Hackensack” in your analytics, now you just see something like “[secure search]” or “[not available]”. Quite a shock if you did not know about this.
Chances are, if you were following the SEO rules before, and you were writing thoughtful and engaging content, you probably haven’t even noticed a difference since Hummingbird came along.
If you have noticed a difference in where you show up in search results, you should take inventory of your content. What’s its purpose? What problem does it solve? What query does it answer? These are the questions you should ask on a page-by-page basis, instead of focusing only on “what keyword does this page use?”