The New Google
With Google comes change. The latest big change is the new Hummingbird algorithm. Simply, Google now looks at longer questions in the search bar, and returns a better answer. Where they used to return results that picked up on one or two keywords, now Google can see your search query in context. If you search for “number of calories in a Pizza Hut slice” – Google can now take you to the most relevant page – as opposed to a more, potentially confusing list page. A more specific, useful, faster answer for the question you wanted answered.
What this means to those of us who blog is, once again, laser focus each message, consistently keeping in mind the question the reader wants answered…and tag longer phrases. We write blogs and articles to demonstrate our expertise, no? There are a lot of us writing, linking, chatting, posting, pining, plus-ing. We need to make sure that our unique abilityto speak to a specific audience comes across loud and clear. Good content now means specific content, answering a more specific question in a way only you can. That’s how you get customers from your SEO efforts, and that’s what “good content” means nowadays.
But good content has to do more than explain your point of view. It has to speak to the reader in such a way that they want to share it. Google has said that Page Rank (where you show up on Google’s Page 1) is determined by “good content” and how many people are linking to it.
Google’s Matt Cutts says that the key, current page ranking determinant is how many other people think your content is good, by commenting, sharing or linking to it.
There’s not a lot of ways to “game” that. Here are our recommendations to accomplish this well:-
- build other sites and link in, yourself. Not a link pyramid, but a wheel still works. It works more strongly when it’s a range of sites, in different geographic locations, each with a following of its own.
- link in from social media in such a way that you have ignited a conversation. You do this three ways
- write about what you know others will agree with
- stir up a debate, with a provocative position
- find a unique stance that others will want to share with their tribe – easier said than done, but well worth it, when executed politely
- guest blogging – an old tactic, but one that has risen back to success. When you put your content on someone else’s [popular] blog with a link back to your site, you gain a nice authority backlink well worth the time investment writing the post.
Here is the most useful, reference tool I’ve found for SEO at the moment — The Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors.