Feeling Good About Your High Page Rank? – It May Just be Time to Revisit Your SEO Strategy

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Do you feel good about your high page rank? Yes, it is great – for now. But here is the news: Google has made a few significant upgrades which include the Google Hummingbird algorithm and the encryption of all search data. Both these changes imply major changes for online marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

With the new upgrades come new focal points including using natural language for optimization, creating mobile-search-friendly content, and shifting emphasis away from keywords to publishing quality content on a regular basis. Consequently, businesses will now have to adjust their content marketing strategies accordingly.


Google has named its reworked search engine “Hummingbird”. According to the company, the update is so named because of its “fast and precise” search results. The upgrade does a better job of understanding the intent behind long-tail search queries and queries entered in spoken or natural language.

For example, when a user searches “What is the nearest place to buy an Android phone to my home?”, a standard search engine will concentrate on the words “buy” and “Android”.

Hummingbird will better understand the geographical location of the user’s home, and the “place” will be understood as a brick and mortar store. Thus, it goes beyond the traditional remit of locating web pages with words that match the search query. Of course, this will work only if the user has shared his or her location with Google.

It is clear that the importance of high quality and original content remains the same, but the search engine will now give preference to web sites with content that is ideal for mobiles. Which means companies must now create and deploy mobile content.

Search Data Encryption

Google now encrypts all search query data. This means that the keywords you type in a Google query are fortified by SSL encryption. This protection is valid even if the user is not logged into their Google account.

According to SEO experts, Google is now taking steps to restrict access to free data involving keywords and to encourage SEO professionals to subscribe to paid Adwords campaigns.

Before the search data was encrypted, Google Analytics displayed the number of visits a keyword or a search phrase got on a site during a particular period, the percentage of first (or new) visits which resulted from the keyword phrase, the bounce rate, and other relevant data. This information was then used to determine which keywords would deliver the maximum traffic, and the content would be created accordingly. In other words, search data encryption is a major blow to webmasters and SEO professionals as it literally destroys the organic or free keyword data that they depended on.

We all know that Google is constantly changing and we’ve come to expect it. However, these changes aren’t just slight tweaks. What about your site? How do you think Google’s Hummingbird update and search data encryption will change will affect your SEO strategies?

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  • Arbaz Khan

    Great post Mark.
    I don’t think anything would happen to PageRank in the near future or if anything happens, it will be something that would be completely unexpected, just like the Hummingbird update.
    So instead of being proud of the high PR of your blog, you should start working on a new SEO strategy to stay strong in the search results.
    Thanks for sharing your views with us 🙂

  • Pittsburgh SEO

    Hey Mark, thanks for the post. I feel like the Hummingbird change shouldn’t really be a surprise. If you look at the history of how they’ve refined their algorithms previously, there seems to be a definitive path leading to the current state of search results. It’s also no surpise that they’re actively pushing website owners to paid advertising. They’re a publicly traded company. They exist to make money. As far as page rank being affected,I’ve read a number of articles, a lot on here, about how SEO isn’t so much SEO any more. It’s more about WPO – web presence optimization. If your site is built with structured data and is responsive, the literal SEO part of the work is largely taken care of. The rest is proving to the rest of the web and its users that your content is relevant. The way to ensure that happens, aside from actually creating the content, is to make sure people can see it. The more places people, and as a result search engines, can find your information, the more likely you’ll be deemed an authority. Just my two cents! Thanks again.

  • Nagraj

    Google is constantly changing from “User Friendly” status to complex process and I don’t know how long this? (hope till the competitor came )

    All the SEO’s welcomes the Hummingbird update, which reflects to relevant & narrow search results. But encrypts all search query data is ridiculous.

    All the best SEO’s .. stand with quality content & user friendly design that’s all we can do.

    Thanks for sharing useful info.

  • Beth Felcher

    I’m confused. Is this article about PageRank? The patented Google algorithm? Or are you using the term ambiguously? When you lose me in the title– you lose me through the article. I read it of course, but I keep thinking… What the hell does he mean about PageRank – or does he mean page rank, as in your “rankings”?

  • Leon Vilner

    This comes as no surprise to the SEO community. Of course Google is going to restrict free organic data to promote adwords..duh. My question for you is this – What do you think is the best approach to create brand specific keywords, besides having an updated blog?

  • Amit Aadarsh

    Yes all the points mentioned in the article is right. I have seen these things in Google Analytics and its actually happened. Google is now indirectly forcing webmasters to choose the paid Adwords campaigns. Earlier they had stopped Google Adwords External Tool services that was able to help webmasters to provide nice set of keywords and many other useful details. Anyways there are other analytics tools still in market that can give you more results and i think there is no problem in adding more than 1 analytics program on a website.

  • Abhishek

    All the things that google is doing now makes me feel that content is not king now , Its becoming impossible to rank even with best quality content if you cant build links and your content is not up to mark in the eyes of panda, penguin and now hammingbird

  • Maciej

    At the end of the day Google has shareholders to report to. The last time I checked they didn’t make much of a profit from companies focusing just on organic search. Google does however put weight on user experience as well they just don’t want website owners making marketing decisions based on algorithms and keywords. They want website owners to think about branding and website user experience.

  • Arnie Katz

    Google is in it purely for the $$. They use content, links, geography and the rest to befuddle attempts
    to game their money making system. They will continue to do what they do, to force businesses to pay for
    advertising. The secret is to have a memorable domain name that searchers will just remember and passes the “radio test”.

  • Cindy

    Hi, thanks for taking the time to write this. By the way, when I searched for Google Page Rank you came right up on page one so that’s how I found you. I suppose that’s proof positive that you know your SEO. I was stressing when I launched my website last February, as I thought I wrote good content but kept seeing ZERO PR. I was so used to equating Page rank to meaning that I had thought for months I did something wrong.

    In other words, people who aren’t SEO experts or computer gurus should be able to know just what can and will help their site get better rank. A little thing called PR helped me know if I was in good standing or not or at least I thought so. Now it’s all so confusing.

    So, the moral is just spend time writing good content and not worrying about the number?

  • David

    Thank you for this article. When you say: “the search engine will now give preference to web sites with content that is ideal for mobiles. Which means companies must now create and deploy mobile content”

    What is the different between regular quality content and mobile content?

    Thank you,


  • keyword removed

    Truly a resourceful post Mark. Appreciate your perception over frequent upload of fresh content. Search engines have turned smarter with Google’s Hummingbird update. However I couldn’t crack your opinion on generating mobile content and publishing them. Can you elaborate it further?