Hashtags, Keywords, and Hummingbird

There is an old saying in the SEO community ‘Chaos brings in opportunity’ Google has just brought in chaos with a triple shot of change. This has kept the SEO community awake and sent them to the pharmacies to buy anti-anxiety pills. However, all these changes means there is an opportunity for the SEO community.

Generally businesses engage three different agencies to do their SEO, Social media marketing, and PPC. However, with the recent changes businesses that do not have a single point marketer will miss out big time.

Here is what it means from a marketers point of view:

Keyword reporting

Site owners will no longer be provided keyword data as almost all search now happens on encrypted servers. Those businesses that depended on keyword rankings will face tough time. Although keywords were a good starting point it was not necessarily the best starting point as keywords didn’t tell site owners how customers would find what they were looking for and therefore it was difficult to know if the customers actually stuck around, after finding, and converted.

Google is now so confident that it does not need to be told what your site is all about. This means marketers will now have to think ahead of keywords. Quality of content and social media signals is sufficient for Google. From now on well written content that serves value to the user will be crucial for conversion and increase in ROI.

What this essentially means is that marketers will first have to establish a relationship with potential customers via social media and bring about an emotional affinity for their brands. From now on marketers will have to treat search and social as one and not separate. Social media marketing teams and search engine optimization teams will have to merge and work together.

Hashtags search

Google took away keywords, but has rewarded marketers with hashtags. Hashtags used in Google+ are now providing value in search results ranking. Apart from the regular search results viewers will get a live feed of Google+ posts for the searched term and links to the same search term on Twitter and Facebook. However, the Google+ feed will only show up if the searched term is trending when the search is conducted. This gives marketers opportunity to judiciously place hashtags in blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ posts. This adds to their marketing campaigns.

Hummingbird

Search engines have become more sophisticated and can understand languages much better than before. Today it combines words with grammar to understand what the search is all about and returns relevant results. This has made the search engine more interactive as it now communicates with the person conducting the search. From now on marketers will no longer need to artificially load their content with keywords to be found or to attract web crawlers.

If content is enjoyed by more people it will be found more and more and search will return it in search results. This actually brings search engines close to the real world.

Advice to SEOs

Rather than fight the changes it makes sense to embrace the changes and make appropriate corrections to your SEO strategy. Only those marketers that have an integrated team consisting of content creators, content writers, community managers, and SEO professionals will succeed in the changed environment.

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