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October 8 2013

Google Hummingbird & Semantic Search

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On September 26th Google turned 15 and celebrated by releasing information on their all new Hummingbird algorithm. This was not simply an update to the old search engine algorithm like Penguin and Panda, but an entirely new search algorithm. The new Hummingbird algorithm was launched over a month ago and was switched over almost seamlessly.

You may be asking yourself: Why Hummingbird? Why now? What does it do differently? And, Is SEO impacted? All very good questions.

The reason for Hummingbird is simple, Google is always trying to improve search results. This time they’re improving it by getting better at semantic search, or “conversational search.” With semantic search, Google looks at your entire query, and even a succession of queries, to provide you with results that are the most relevant to your search.

Let’s say you are looking to find out the date/ time your favorite NFL team is playing next. This type of search may have brought up blog posts, news articles about past games and possibly different sports networks you could go through to find out when their next game is. Now with Hummingbird and Google’s Knowledge Graph, you will get results like the screen shot below that gives you the information for the next game with results from your team’s website right below it. Think of it as being fast & precise (hence “Hummingbird”).

hummingbird-knowledge-graph

Now as far as SEO is concerned, none of these changes are alarming, and they should only help sites that are being optimized properly. If you have been diligently working on an onsite SEO strategy, including both content and technical considerations, there is no need to worry unless you have seen drops in your rankings within the past month. For more information on this, check out our recent post about what Hummingbird means for your content strategy.

June 22 2012

Quick and easy ways to SEO your G+ page

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Although G+ is still quite new especially for   businesses, many companies are creating these pages and just letting them sit with a couple of pictures on them. Here are a few quick and easy tips to start giving your G+ page some recognition.

  • Make sure that you have a tagline. The tagline is what people see when your G+ page comes up in a search or when they hover their cursor over your page icon. This can be changed at anytime, so while using descriptive words is best, you don’t have to focus too much time on it. You also want to make sure that your words stay under 21 characters or else it will get truncated.
  • You want to sell your company in 56 characters or less in the “About” portion of your G+ page. When you first click on the About tab, you have a little section called “Introduction”. When your page is displayed in the “People and Pages” section, Google pulls a part of your “About” section which is the first 56 characters. Maximize this opportunity with keywords that identify who your company is.
  • You always want to create original content, but there are ways that you can use the content that you are posting frequently to your advantage. Not only does this frequent, original, quality content help your company website as well as your G+ page, but by the use of #hash tags within that content for keywords that relate to your company it will allow your page to come up in the search results more often; this will also increase the chance of your company coming up in trending conversations like #MoreVisibility.
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