The new rules of the internet are here…
Google has recently launched a new algorithm, nicknamed ‘Hummingbird’. Whereas previous algorithms have changed a small percentage of the way search terms are processed through Google, Hummingbird is tipped to change 90 percent (yep).
Naturally that means big changes for the internet, your business and how customers will find you.
You Can’t Fool Mother Google.
There is now no point in channelling time, energy, and money into trying to figure out how to ‘cheat’ the Google system with fake SEO; it is now just too clever.
This means the entire creation, development and design process of web spaces will change. SEO is still an imperative part of the process, but Google is driving the internet towards a more organic approach to searching for what you want.
This means no more shortcuts, and that content is now king. Everyone needs to get on board with company content and social media, as this drives SEO, which in turn drives searches to websites.
Question? Tell Me What You Think About Me.
Complete questions are a benchmark of the new Google system. It no longer simply locks on to pages stuffed to the gills with keywords. This goes hand in hand with new features such as speaking a Google search verbally into your smartphone.
You will have already noticed this if you use Chrome. When you pose a question to Google, the info will frequently appear as an ‘info card’, as opposed to just a list of websites.
This means, of course, that less people are clicking on websites.
As such, web spaces need to provide something which info cards can’t. And this something is engaging and original content which gives readers the information they want and is presented in an attractive and easy-to-navigate format.
Content, and Plenty Of It.
Content, whether freelance articles, FAQs or ‘how to’ pages, should provide the right info, and questions themselves should now form a part of this content.
More original, engaging content = more links = more website access = more sales.
Therefore, you need to think about the questions your customers are going to ask, and try to answer them beforehand. However, the new system extends far beyond simple words on a webpage. Hummingbird also takes into account design, coding, ease of use, social media engagement and a number of other factors when placing websites in the Google rankings – some of which are known only to the Google developers.
Links are very important in websites and blogs – they link the customer to the relevant pages, cutting out time and effort. However, Google is getting ever smarter at spotting the tricks which web masters previously used to insert ‘hidden’ or pointless links.
Links must now be inserted organically into web pages. They should be used whenever possible, but only where relevant.
In short, this is the biggest internet overhaul since 2001, and it has been released largely in silence.
You need to seriously think about your customers, who they are, and what they want from your website or company.
What’s more, you need to be thinking about these questions before they do.