The game of SEO has changed dramatically over the past few months. With the launch of Google Hummingbird and the expansion of (not provided), search engine optimizers now find themselves stripped of their weapons and ammunition to conduct effective SEO.
For those of you who are still unfamiliar with the Hummingbird update or the expansion of (not provided), we suggest that you review some articles about this new trend as it has probably already affected your search rankings.
Here’s a few that may help you:
It’s Not Google’s Fault!
Understanding search from Google’s point of view will help you, as a marketer, understand how to build sustainable content and websites that will stand the test of Google’s algorithm updates.
Google’s job is to make search as quick and relevant to users as possible and the Hummingbird update is a big step towards that goal. With their smarter search algorithm, Hummingbird is able to detect the intent behind the search and will return results that are most relevant to you (even if you did not use the same keywords).
But Google also realizes updating this algorithm itself is not enough because, on the other end, you have search engine optimizers who are constantly trying to “game” the system by putting the search engine bot’s experience ahead of the user experience.
This very reason is why, along with the Hummingbird update, Google also expanded keywords (not provided), forcing search engine optimizers to stop focusing on keywords.
What SEO Should Not Be…
SEO used to be about finding the search queries that your customers are using and optimizing your website for those keywords. But now that we can no longer know what keywords your customers are using, what is SEO?
Given that big change in Google’s algorithm is bound to happen in the near future (and it will), SEO should not be about optimizing your site for the current algorithm (which is what marketers have been doing for years!).
If Google’s intent is providing users with the best possible and most relevant search results, then we must realize that trying to optimize websites for the current algorithm is probably not the most sustainable game plan.
The Smart Marketer’s SEO Plan
So as a smart marketer, what should you be doing? If Google is trying to push more pages that provide valuable and relevant content, then marketers should also be focusing on answering, as best as they can, the questions and queries of their customers.
So what’s in the smart marketer’s SEO gameplan? For one, it will have extensive primary and secondary research data pertaining to your customer’s search habits. Second, it involves a skilled copywriter developing your content. And, it requires a skilled link-builder to increase the authority of your page.
Now, Search Engine Optimizers no longer have access to analytic data to tell them how they should change their content. This insight can now only come directly from your customers.
With the new age of SEO, your best strategy is to hire a marketing team, not a single search engine optimizer.
If your brand needs help creating a sustainable SEO strategy, we are here to help.