3 Things Businesses Need to Know About Google’s Latest Algorithm Changes

December 19, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), few companies are more important than Google, who has the lion’s share of Internet search traffic. Recent changes to their Algorithm have impacted the ways in which SEO is used to determine page rankings, and that means that businesses may need to change their strategy to adapt to Google’s newest updates. Referred to as “Hummingbird,” Google’s new algorithm has affected traditional SEO tactics, by encouraging quality over quantity when it comes to organic content. There are three major things every business needs to know about the changes in order to continue to be effective in their SEO campaigns.

  1. How to Use Keywords Appropriately

One of the most valuable pieces of traditional SEO has always been a focus on singular keywords which act as hooks and anchors to consumers looking for related sites and content. Singular keywords have been rapidly declining in effectiveness because the Internet is flooded with businesses all trying to cast a wide net with hundreds of related keywords hoping for a match. However, according to Jeev Trika CEO of TopSEOs.com, “up to 70% of search traffic originates from long tail keywords, which are more focused on the intent and needs of the user. By changing singular keywords to more-valuable long tail searches, businesses can more effectively boost their search traffic.”

  1. How to Create Valuable Content

With its long-accepted reign as “King,” content has seen some dramatic changes since the release of Hummingbird. Many businesses flocked to content creation as a way to bolster their page rankings without much regard for the quality or relevance of that content. Poorly-written guest posts, some with painful grammatical errors, flooded the search engine’s algorithms and buried content of any real value. In response, Google has determined that going forward SEO will have to focus more on content, which provides meaningful information from authoritative sources. This new brand of content should be focused on the audience, and seek to connect and engage in a more valuable way.

  1. How to Build Quality Backlinks

Past SEO tactics have allowed for the building of backlinks, which were lower in quality and often contain a plethora of spam. Now, with the recent changes, the focus for building backlinks should be on the quality. Quality backlinks are successfully created through relationship building over time, and the addition of authoritative sources. Businesses who are able to increase traffic by creating better content than their competitors (and then building backlinks which trace back to – and replace – the competitor’s outdated content) can see a dramatic increase in organic traffic over a short amount of time.

Traditionally, SEO has been focused on singular keywords, landing pages, and has been mostly rankings focused. With the introduction of Hummingbird, future SEO needs to adapt in order to become more focused on the interaction between people and a specific brand, service, or product. Google has determined that there is more value in customer engagement. Due to this, businesses should focus less on rankings and more on a return of investment (ROI) to boost SEO results.