Google Hummingbird Review

Google Hummingbird Update

google-hummingbird-updateThe Google Hummingbird update has been live for sometime now. Although according to Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch, this is not so much an update as it is a whole new algorithm.

Does it matter which it is? Not really, after all’s said and done, we still need to get sites visible and people will continue to search.

What is Google saying though? Not a lot until you really go into it in depth. Then between the lines quite a lot!
They’re really focusing an mobile, both phones and tablets. Google Now is moving towards being even more of an assistant. Amit Singhal explains in a post on the Google blog. you can set a reminder to buy butter on your next trip to Safeway, Google Now will remind when you walk in the store.

They really seem very proud of their voice search, maybe on SIRI on i0S 7 it works well, but on my computer, not so much.

I asked “which is better for me, butter or olive oil?” I got results for “Which is better to boil”, not really so useful.

Knowledge Graph is also mentioned, getting better and giving more information.

It’s mobile where most of the changes are being made and, where those changes will be most notable. In an article on Forbes, Google news room is quoted as saying that the Hummingbird has been flying for several months, not just the one quoted elsewhere.

I first wrote this in 2013 and now it’s time to look at what’s actually happened. Hummingbird was indeed a whole new flock of birds. It changed how search worked because the little bird could understand semantics and context.

The Knowledge Graph got better. It’s job is to keep the searcher on the results page as long as possible. after all, Google makes it’s money from search by selling advertising via its AdWords program. With the product feed available to retailers, you can now buy direct from the search results page.

This means that Google is hoping to become the place on the web for all your needs. Having said that, Google Plus is getting less and less support because it never took off in the way it was hoped. Facebook has not only kept it’s user base but grown it to one and a half billion users, making it a powerhouse that can challenge Google.

Discover more about the Hummingbird update here

Have you noticed a change in the visibility of your site?

Search Engine Rank – Is It Time To Look At It Differently?

Search Engine Rank

Most people with a business and an interest in using online marketing obsess about their rank in search engines and in particular Google. In this day and age that may not be the best metric with which to measure the success of your online marketing efforts. In general, it’s probably true that the higher you rank the more visitors you’ll get and the more business you’ll do.

Unfortunately with the personalization of search, especially by Google rank is now very elusive to pin down. For SEO service providers this causes a problem. It’s difficult, if not impossible to provide clients with rank that they can verify themselves. For buyers of SEo services it causes the same problem in reverse, they get told they rank in certain positions for certain keywords, so they go to check. Then they find that either their site is nowhere to be seen, is lower than they were led to believe and in some cases they find they rank higher.

When this happens trust becomes an issue, how do they trust their SEO provider is doing a good job? before you either buy or sell SEO services you need to come to an agreement on what metric you will use as a measure of success. To do this you have to choose a metric (or preferably combination of metrics) that you have some historical data for that you can then use as a baseline. If you don’t track any metrics for your business you MUST start now. Without them you can’t forecast adequately, if you need to raise capital you won’t be able to as you have no way of accurately showing costs.

From a marketing point of view you need to pay attention to more things than search engine rank, you need to know where your customers come from. Where are you advertising, how much does it cost? You need to know how much it costs you to acquire a new customer. The simple way is to add up everything you spend to advertise and market your company, including printing, design, and all costs associated with providing marketing materials of any description on a monthly basis. Then divide this by the number of new customers you get each month and that, broadly speaking is your customer acquisition cost.

You can read more about this here and her’s a link to an online calculator.

CAC is only one of the things you need to measure, for example what is the lifetime value, the average value, the initial sale value? All of these can be measured and should be. You as a business owner need to know these things, how else will you know where to adjust to make the most profit?

If your CAC (customer acquisition cost) is $50 and the first time average sale value is $49 you’re losing money but unless you actually track these numbers you won’t know. Therefore you might want to measure success by how much it costs to get a new customer from SEO and what the value of that customer is.

Ranking A Website

So many website owners have a ‘build it and they will come’ mentality. When it comes to ranking a website there are a lot of things that are needed. One of the most important is information, this is what we call the content, it must be relevant to the theme of the website, it’s no good having film reviews on a site that sells coffee beans the 2 are not relevant to each other.

Ranking a website requires good content, it requires content that is informative and that can help a potential customer make the decision to buy from you.  This content should be provided in as many ways as possible, text, video, audio, images and slides. You want to allow people to ‘consume’ your content in as many ways as possible. I’m a reader, I like to read, my son is very visual, he likes to watch videos to get the information. My niece on the other hand likes to download her information as podcasts (audio) so she can listen to it while she drives to work and back.

Ranking Factors

Ranking factors are different than the content need to rank a website. Ranking factors are required by the search engines and each is different but they do have things in common. The biggest of which is genuine valuable one way back links and good engaging content.

Depending on whether you want to rank locally or nationally the ranking factors may differ, local rank needs local back links more than national ones. National rank is less dependent on local factors and needs a lot more citations and links, especially in highly competitive industries.

Concentrate on providing great informative content, spreading the word on social sites and building those relevant and valuable back links and you will improve the search engine rank for your site regardless of whether you do the SEo yourself, or employ the services of an Seo provider.

Happy ranking!

Google Shares Shock – will it affect search and SEO?

October 18th 2012 and Google looses $29 billion off it share value. Commentators say it’s because they’ve lost focus on their ‘core’ business and are stretching themselves with things like the buying of Motorola.

Will this affect search and SEO and if so how? Well, let’s look at it without all the hype. So Google shares have lost value, but that’s not the same as money is it? After all if you pay $10 for a share in a company, then it goes up in value to $15 unless you sell it, you didn’t actually have that extra $5 did you?

Sure you had the potential but you could argue that any lottery ticket has the potential to be worth millions, yet if it doesn’t win, you don’t go around bewailing the loss of that potential do you? Well unless you’re like my husband who’s convinced every week that his ‘numbers will come up’ of course 🙂

The question is though will it affect search or SEO? Answer, no, not really. Google still provides the majority of searches world wide, 67% in the US and higher in Europe. With those numbers why would a drop in share price affect the search arm?

Let’s be sensible, Google is still leading the world of search and although other engines like Bing, slowly one percentage point at a time has edged it’s way back into the search landscape it still has nothing like the reach of Google.

Google makes it’s money from advertising, that’s it’s core business, to continue that it needs to stay at the top of the search engine pile. I certainly wouldn’t like to bet against them – yet.

Just because this share shock has occurred at a time when Google was growing at a phenomenal rate and, I don’t think it’ll affect SEO or search, doesn’t mean to say Google can be complacent. It needs to continue to refine it’s search results whilst levelling the playing field so that small businesses can compete with the giants.

Google reaches into every area of the internet and so by default our lives. I don’t think that dropping ‘pretend’ money off its value is going to cause it too many problems do you?

Best SEO Advice?

seo for small businessesI’ve been thinking about a question I found on Quora . I have to say I agree with a lot of what’s said here, in fact I can’t disagree with any of it. The one things that stood out for me though is the comment to be flexible, because on line marketing and SEO change as search engines tweak and change. Two things that never go out of style though are great content and great links. You can take a look at the page by clicking this link

Great content is not just about creating a video or article or even an infographic, it’s about creating a video, article or infographic that delivers and emotional experience AND answers the question WIIFM (what’s in it for me). Seriously do you ever read, watch or look at content on a website unless there is something in it for you? Even if that something is to tell you you’re on the wrong website?

I certainly don’t and I know I’m not alone. Sometimes I watch things that make me laugh, cry or get angry, if I’m bored however, I jump away. I read things that interest, inform or infuriate me, if they don’t make me feel something, guess what? I jump away.

After all I’m only nano seconds away from something else, all I have to do is click my mouse or touch the screen.

So stay flexible, never stop learning (who likes a know it all anyway?) Create amazingly engaging content. If all that fails, then argue with the people who’re succeeding, at least you’ll cause a reaction 🙂