If you manage a blog, you will no doubt understand how important Google is when it comes to how many hits and readers you achieve. It is important for your blog to be easily discovered if you want to become successful and continue to grow. For the last three years, it has been relatively easy to be discovered on Google, as long as you know what you are doing. Keywords used to be the key to Google’s searches, but now things are changing. Google recently unveiled their Hummingbird update—on September 27, 2013, Google’s 15th Birthday—and this update has been billed as their biggest since the Caffeine update in 2010.
Hummingbird has been in effect since August, and you may have already noticed some negative changes as to how many visitors have been coming from Google. If that’s the case, there are a handful of things you can do to combat the Hummingbird update and bring the traffic back to your blog.
Change Your Approach to Keywords
Keywords have long been the driving force behind being discovered through Google searches and, while they still remain a big part of it, specifics have been somewhat refined. Instead of just working a keyword into a post, it is more effective to cover a full concept with your posts. For instance, if you were writing a blog post about workers’ compensation, you should write about that subject as a whole, not just use one keyword or phrase about it.
Essentially, the Hummingbird update now crawls posts and analyzes their content as a whole; using a keyword is no longer enough. You should instead develop content around the keyword and its concepts.
Be Kind to Smartphones
While the iPhone and other smartphones were billed to deliver the Web to the palm of our hands, desktop websites aren’t ideal on mobile. Instead, Google now crawls websites and checks whether or not they have a mobile-friendly website. Make sure your website works well on mobile platforms so that your content can be appreciated on smartphones everywhere. The mobile web is a big thing, and it will be a necessity to offer a mobile-friendly version of your site. Otherwise, you might find yourself losing readers to other sites.
Consider Unlinked Content on Your Site
Now, Google is crawling pages that aren’t linked, specifically those without a “HREF=” attribute to them. These pages might have even increased in traffic already. Pages like these are easier for Google to recommend as they come across as “clean,” meaning the search giant feels comfortable in listing them in their results.
When Google starts to change things, it can be a wake-up call, and for a good reason. You should make sure that your blog, be it for personal or business, is where it should be. Ensure that your mobile site is working properly and make sure the content you are running is clean and well-proofed. Generally, you should go through your site and make sure it is up to standards. By following the tips above, you might end up gaining more traffic as a result of the Hummingbird update.
Have you noticed anything different since the update? Leave your comments below!
Photo Credit: dhiren2