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?