One of the most powerful tech companies in the world is a full-blown adolescent, and for its 15th birthday, Google surprised users with an all new search algorithm dubbed Hummingbird. The search giant was predictably guarded with details, saying only that the new search engine was a more humane way to interact with users and deliver relevant results.
Google announced Hummingbird on September 27, its 15th anniversary, but the algorithm has been in place since late August. It’s Google’s biggest update in three years, so webmasters have taken notice. Here are the key takeaways from Hummingbird a month into its official release.
Get Google+ Authorship
Google’s famous PageRank generates precise values for websites, but Google has yet to engineer a system that rates authors. Google+ authorship could be the first step toward such a system. Hummingbird puts more emphasis on content with verified Google authors. If content marketing is an important part of your marketing strategy, Google authorship should be on your radar. Applying for authorship is easy. Simply create a Google+ profile and sign up at plus.google.com/authorship. Google recommends that authors post clear head shots as profile pictures. Once your authorship is approved, include the rel=”author” in the code to attach your profile. Verify the content in Google+ and voila, the piece will have authorship in Google’s system.
Study the Knowledge Graph
Content strategists looking to get a better handle on the relevant topics in their fields have a new tool. It’s called Google’s Knowledge Graph, and it’s one of the best brainstorming tools around. The Knowledge Graph is a more advanced version of Google’s search engine. It summarizes relevant content and returns related information. The Knowledge appears on the right side of a Google search. Consider it an intelligent companion that accompanies you as you search the web.
Focus on Content, Not Keywords
Hummingbird isn’t the only big change Google made recently. The Mountain View-based company also moved all web queries to an encrypted system that eliminates the ability for webmasters to look at organic research data. Graphs that used to help websites build their SEO strategies now say “(not provided),” and webmasters are searching for answers. The update isn’t as catastrophic as some experts think. Google is already shifting influence away from exact-match keywords. By now, you’ve probably heard the rallying cry: Content is king. High-quality content is the sure-fire way to drive new visitors to your website. Whether through social media or organic search rankings, quality content is the natural way to gain notoriety.
Stay Up on the Latest Updates
As always, Google’s algorithms are subject to change at any time. What works today might not tomorrow, so it’s important to stay informed on the latest industry information. Take a cue from digital agencies who are leading the industry. The iAcquire.com Arizona team posts SEO news and stays up to date on trends. Searchengineland.com provides quality insights and delivers the latest news on Google algorithms and updates.