Tag Archives: Hummingbird

With no keywords [100% (Not Provided)], is SEO content history?

Keyword data not provided

First of all, let me make it clear, there is no such thing as “SEO content”. You should always write content that is useful to your visitors, that provides the right information to your prospective customers and clients, and that is easily accessible. Stick to these guidelines and you have got “SEO content” on your website. Nonetheless, when you create content, you keep your primary keywords in mind while preparing the text. This is for obvious reasons. Up till now, the convention has been that if people are using certain words to find you, shouldn’t you be using those words? Suppose people are looking for content writing services, shouldn’t I use these three words as often as possible, while not overdoing it?

Recently Google has started encrypting every search – it means the various analytics programs that told you what keywords people are using in order to come to your website will no longer be able to do that. Here is an interesting take on this latest development:

Why does Google hide this valuable information in this awesome free tool called Google Analytics that they recommend you sign up for? Why do you think? My guess is it’s to encourage paid search engine marketing possibly through their Google AdWords product. I mean why else would you hide this useful information?

Whatever reasons Google has got, it is not going to show you the keywords for which you get traffic, and that’s that. It’s a big company, lots of businesses depend on it, and it can really take decisions that can wipe off smaller businesses just like that. Deal with it.

How do you deal with it? Most of my clients provide me a list of keywords when they want me to prepare content for them. Although more than keywords, what’s important is the message that is delivered through the content, but keywords are a big factor. You can use common sense to prepare content according to your main keywords. But how do you know that you are getting enough traffic for those keywords? If you are trying to optimize your website for multiple keywords, how do you know which keywords are already optimized for and which ones you still need some effort? In the absence of this insight, what sort of content do you create?

Google deciding not to show you keywords doesn’t mean that keywords no longer matter. After all it’s the keywords that people use in order to find the information they need. Although Google is shifting its focus on context rather than the words that you use – you may like to read my previous blog post titled Preparing your website content for Google’s Hummingbird algorithm. Despite that, keywords are going to matter and this is why…

The entire AdWords business depends on keywords because people bid on them. The advertisements on Google’s advertising network appear on the basis of the keywords people use to carry out searches. So do you want to know what keywords drive the most traffic to your website? Sign up for AdWords. Even if you are not interested in PPC advertising, you can use its PPC ad-creation tool to do research on keywords and find out the most relevant and the most widely used keywords in your industry. By spending some money you can also find out for which keywords people click your links the most.

The best thing to do is, stop worrying about keywords and start publishing content people find useful. In fact this can be a blessing in disguise. Almost since the beginning of the Internet businesses all over the world have depended on search engines for traffic. I’m not saying you completely start ignoring the search engines because millions of people use them to find products and services they need, but people are also using other sources like social networking websites, blogs, review websites and informative articles to make up their minds. In fact, trying to find good information on search engines can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. On the other hand if you ask your peers, friends and followers (whether face-to-face or through your social connections on the Internet) you can find exactly the sort of information and advice you need. Start networking with people. Build your clout and authority. Improve your author rank instead of solely focusing on page rank and keyword density. Let people send traffic your way rather than search engines.

If you are not publishing a newsletter, then perhaps this is the right time to start one. Have a signup box somewhere on your website and encourage people to drop in their email ids so that you can keep in touch with them. In fact, the conversion rate from your emails is much higher compared to the traffic that you get from search engines.

Image source

Preparing your website content for Google’s Hummingbird algorithm

With voice-to-text going mainstream on mobile phones and tablet PCs, more and more people will be using longer search expressions – something like asking questions in natural language – rather than using smaller keywords and search terms. Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm takes care of this rapidly evolving search trend even for its primary web search engine. It’s the biggest algorithm update since 2009. This was the time when they introduced “Caffeine”. The recent update, according to Google, impacts around 90% of the searches.

Google Hummingbird Update

How does it affect your search engine rankings? How should you prepare your website content for this new ranking algorithm?

Isn’t it similar to what we have already been talking about, the longtail search traffic? To an extent, yes, but the Hummingbird algorithm uses the intelligence Google has been able to gather over all these years drawing inferences and conclusions according to the language used by its users. This Search Engine Land example illustrates it better []:

“What’s the closest place to buy the iPhone 5s to my home?” A traditional search engine might focus on finding matches for words — finding a page that says “buy” and “iPhone 5s,” for example.

Hummingbird should better focus on the meaning behind the words. It may better understand the actual location of your home, if you’ve shared that with Google. It might understand that “place” means you want a brick-and-mortar store. It might get that “iPhone 5s” is a particular type of electronic device carried by certain stores. Knowing all these meanings may help Google go beyond just finding pages with matching words.

In particular, Google said that Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.

Creating your content for Google’s Hummingbird algorithm

The best way of creating content for Google’s Hummingbird algorithm is not to create content for that and just focus on quality and the message that you want to deliver to your visitors. As you can read in the above quoted text, Google will no longer focus on keywords; taking care that it processes the entire meaning of the query or the long search expression that the user has used in a natural language. So if you search for, “Where can I find a content writer for my web design company around my area?” Google will try to find information exactly according to this question rather than simply throwing a page containing “content writer”, “web design company” and “my area”. This is because sometimes people randomly create articles and blog posts to cover different keywords without meaning to convey what actually needs to be conveyed. In order to find such information Google already has data about the user so “my area” is already known to Google and it throws up results accordingly.

To further stress the point – chucking the keyword business out – every search on Google will be secure now so the various analytics tools won’t be able to find out for which keywords you get your traffic.

So if you want to leverage Google’s Hummingbird algorithm prepare meaningful content that provides the right information to your prospective visitors. Don’t just create pages and blog posts for the sake of using your keywords. Here are a few things to focus on:

  • Concentrate on answering particular queries and questions: Provide answers in a human language without overtly worrying about keywords. Keywords are important, after all they are words people are going to use, but they must relate to each other and they must make a sense according to the query being made or the question being asked. Remember that your keywords, your language should satisfy the context. According to the new algorithm, quality really matters along with the context.
  • Be more specific with the title: Titles of your blog posts and webpages are still important. It hasn’t been proven what impact they will have according to the new algorithm, but it’s better to create them according to the expressions you expect people to use in order to find information that you are trying to impart.
  • Develop your authorship influence: This has direct relationship with the quality of content that you publish on your own website, on social networking websites and on other forums. As an authority on your subject people respect you, watch for your content and share your content among their peers. This increases your influence and makes your content more trustworthy.

Again, creating content around probable questions and queries doesn’t mean you resort to creating content that doesn’t really have a meaning but repeats these queries and questions again and again. Focus on meaningfulness and provide real value. Google’s Hummingbird algorithm works on understanding the entire meaning of your page rather than individual keywords and search terms.

Image source