How Google Hummingbird Affected SEO

Good day,

Google Hummingbird rolled out Somewhere September 2013. It has affected search engine results page in a minute way. Generally, SEO Hacker’s clients have NOT been affected.

However there were some keywords that were ‘fixed’ by Google in terms of creating relevance for their users. Most of these are pages with very few content or little relevance to the target keyword.

Look at it this way

Just like when you buy your brand new Mustang GT and you didn’t read the manual – you’d have to still test everything out. Google’s new engine is something unfamiliar – yet it shook the search results page quite hard. The interesting thing is: we didn’t hear complaints whatsoever – at least not from the end users.

Perhaps the changes from Hummingbird is a positive one. Refining the search results to be more relevant. That is, after all, what Google really wants. A user-centric search engine.

The good thing is, users are indeed happy. Google is making the search results more relevant.

What does it mean for us?

It means that we have to shape up. That the keywords we want to rank for should provide webpages that are ultimately helpful and relevant to that keyword.

For example: SEO Hacker is ranking for the keyphrase “SEO Philippines” – we made it relevant by writing an extensive article about SEO in the Philippines. We are not directly selling our services (but of course we did a little plug in the article) but it is ranking really well today – even when Hummingbird came along.

Pro Tip

We need to make all our pages – yes including our homepage – more relevant to our users. We also need to start thickening our content. Good thing for us, we’ve already created tons of content for you so our rankings are minimally (if not at all) affected.

Concerns

The keyword ‘Foam’ by Uratex in Google.com.ph has been affected. The reason behind it is that it is supposedly ranking our homepage: “Uratex.com,ph” which gives off NOTHING about foam or its uses or anything in relation to it. What Google simply did is take us off and de-rank us because our homepage is irrelevant to the single keyword ‘Foam’.

I did try to rank us and keep us up. However, when Hummingbird rolled out, it caught the ‘magic’ I tried to instill. In effect, we’ve just been hanging on too long. We really deserve to be de-ranked because our homepage does not provide any relevance or value to the keyword.

Suggestions

Create a new homepage that will still give an awesome navigation to B2B and B2C users. It won’t be as ‘grand’ as what we have now – just 2 links in the homepage and nothing else – but it will still be useful and easily understood by the users.

There are design studies as to how we can do this.

My main suggestion is to centralize the website on B2C customers – since this makes up most of our visitors. It has been proven that B2B websites have much less traffic because of the nature of business.

Take a look at how we do it at SEO Hacker.

Our B2B site is https://seo-hacker.net/ – this is linked from the navigation bar of the blog and the sidebar of the blog (http://seo-hacker.com)

The blog is our B2C site. It still drives in a huge amount of traffic to the B2B site but it does not sacrifice its own rankings and user-friendly experience for the B2B site.

It works powerfully for us. We know it will work for you too. Site architecture and user friendliness will be a priority while not affecting the design negatively.

What are your thoughts?