Warning: Google's Hummingbird May Cause Your Site to Plummet
Rehab Your Content
It’s likely that you’re not in the clouds with all the changes Google has implemented in search. First, Google ramped up the percentage of organic keywords not shown to site owners and their marketers from about 70 percent to 100. Then, it gradually rolled out a completely new search algorithm in August 2013 named Hummingbird, which focuses on examining the “intent” behind a searcher’s query and then delivering pages that best satisfy the intent, rather than simply matching search terms to Web pages that optimized for them best (like they did only some months ago!).
A Content rehab Can Protect Your Website from Google Penalties
We’ve seen Hummingbird in an action as it continues to reward hardworking sites that were previously not ranked in the top 10 or 20 positions (these are the organic links found on pages 1 and 2) of the search engine results pages (SERPs).Get the Upper HandThe solution to becoming Hummingbird compliant is right in front of you. The kicker is if you click through the pages of these new leaders in search, you’ll find some common threads: 1) their pages are almost always void of too many keywords in the body; and 2) the pages are longer, rich with text that not only answers the searcher’s question, but that also provides other relevant information the searcher didn’t even know they needed on the topic.
So the question now becomes – What happens to the sites that once dominated the SERPs with pages that were “information thin” and that focused on getting the keywords in all the right places instead of providing answers and an enriching the user’s search experience? The answer is – a significant loss in traffic. And, we know the negative effects a loss in traffic can have on your bottom line.
As marketers, we’re in a critical yet advantageous stage of the game. A gray area, if you will, where Hummingbird has yet to affect 100% of the search results. But don’t misunderstand me, just like the real bird Hummingbird, the algorithm is moving fast. This means we have a small window of opportunity in which to evaluate and deepen the content on our websites.
Now you might be thinking to yourself, “My website has over 1000 pages! When will I have the time and/or the resources to first examine the meaning of the search term(s) being targeted on each page, rate the quality of the information being provided (does it answer the question), and then “deepen” the information, if necessary? What the heck should I do?!?”
Don’t worry – many business owners are asking themselves the same questions, including us. This is not to say that we’ve ever engaged in any black hat SEO tactics, or that we’ve intentionally spammed the Internet with pages that didn’t satisfy searcher intent, but because optimizing for keywords was the way SEO worked… up until some months ago. So now we have to come to terms with the fact that SEO has changed and that we’ve got some refining to do before it impacts our sites’ visibility in the SERPs.
The good news is you have the upper hand. For one, you’re a client of ours which means the solution to becoming Hummingbird compliant is right in front of you. Second, We Do Web Content is aligned with some of the top minds in semantic search (author and analyst David Amerland to name one) and we’re ecstatic to say that our content marketing strategies are ahead of the curve. Our team has a deep understanding of semantic search and the skills and qualifications to write the content humans will love and most importantly share with others.
For the next several months, we will have a team specifically dedicated to this effort. This means you’ll have access to a content professional devoted to rating and deepening the quality of the content on your website.
Your content professional will work with you to ensure each of your website’s pages:
- has a clear purpose
- satisfies the searcher’s query
- contains additional information about the topic, when needed (requires research and writing)
- projects a positive image of your firm
- and is communicated in the best possible format
While your content professional is rehabbing your website’s existing pages, he or she will also keep a spreadsheet of any additional search queries your firm should address through content and what types of content would be best suited to present the solutions.
I’m willing to bet most marketing firms will shy away from such a huge undertaking. Heck, they might even say “we’ll take our chances and hopefully our clients will come out unscathed like they have in the past after previous algorithm updates.” But what they don’t realize is Hummingbird is not an update set out to penalize sites for unethical practices, it’s a complete algorithm change. Therefore, if we want to protect all that we’ve invested in building our online presences so far, we have to change with it or risk a significant drop in traffic then, leads and ultimately conversions.
Now that you agree you have to act now, you might also be wondering… “What about the content I need on a weekly basis to keep my site fresh?” That’s a great question with an even better answer. Anytime you update an existing page on your website, it sends a signal to Google to “re-crawl” the site just as it would when you publish a new page. This means that as you’re working on becoming Hummingbird compliant, you’re also sending fresh content signals to Google with each updated page. The bonus, however, is that each page we revise will be the best it can be, which means it will work in your favor for years to come.
We know the formula to success in the new world of search and we want to share it with you! So get started today before your competitors do and call us now at 888-521-3880.