Lately it seems like Google has improved its ability to provide direct answers to your search questions. These improvements are part of Google’s new search algorithm called “Hummingbird,” which is the biggest update to their search engine since the “caffeine Update” in 2009. To sum it up, Hummingbird helps Google provide more relevant knowledge to searchers – meaning the update has enabled Google to better understand the content it indexes.
Let’s get one thing straight right up front. Hummingbird is not a new algorithm update like Panda or Penguin. It’s a new algorithm. Panda and Penguin are parts of the bigger algorithm. Hummingbird is the actual bigger algorithm. Google has been around for fifteen years now, and Hummingbird is apparently the biggest thing they’ve done to the algorithm in twelve.
One big announcement came from Google, which revealed its Keyword Planner has replaced Keyword Tool. Google now requires you to log into an AdWords account to accomplish tasks formerly handled by Keyword Tool, and this Google support post covers what this means for SEO strategists.
The Keyword Planner, in combination with some impressive new reporting features, is helping shape the way SEO is performed and measured across the Google platform. The Inside AdWords blog covered this in Analyze and optimize your search footprint with the new paid & organic report—a piece I plan to read in full, because I believe it signals the beginning stages of a Web traffic game changer.
What week would be complete without a major social media network update? Facebook decided to tweak the EdgeRank algorithm—a change Social Media Examiner investigated in its article Facebook News Feed Updates: How Marketers Should Respond to Story Bump. It will be interesting to see how this shifts the effectiveness and the shelf life of Facebook posts.
About two years ago, Google launched SSL Search on Google.com as the default for signed in users, as a measure to protect user privacy. This encrypted search meant not providing keyword search data through analytics to websites that these users visited. As a webmaster, you would see that you were getting this traffic from Google, but the keywords would be unknown, as Google would label this traffic Not Provided.
In the social media age, it’s probably a bad idea to dine and ditch. Ok, it’s always a bad idea to dine and ditch – because if you dine and ditch, you’re an asshole. But if you plan on dining and ditching, make sure that one of the restaurant’s employees hasn’t managed to snap a photo of you before you do it.
But what if nobody actually cares what you’re posting on Facebook? What if the amount of friends who are seeing your posts is much higher than you think – and they’re just not interacting. Would you really want to know how many people saw your post and simply allowed it to scroll on by? Do you really want to know the full extent of the situation? That many of your social media posts aren’t going unseen – they’re just being ignored.
It’s been a pretty big week for search and SEO news. There have been a lot of announcements, not only from Google, but from Google competitors.
Earlier this month, social media giant LinkedIn celebrated its 10th anniversary. With more than 225 million members in 200 countries, they have plenty of reasons to celebrate. In many ways, LinkedIn is arguably the most important social media platform for businesses – yes, even more so than Twitter and Facebook.