In September of 2013, the SEO world was running around setting offices on fire, burning desktops and charging the outer walls of the Google, Inc., headquarters with pitchforks and torches. Why? Because SEO-ers and social media strategists were going to have to change, evolve and adapt, again.
On one hand, that is the nature of the profession. Search Engine Optimization is theory, insight and algorithm knowledge all mixed together to put your website on the first page of the SERP (search engine results page). You won’t find the formula in the laws of physics. It’s a science, but far from an exact one. So when one of the major elements changes, such as the algorithm, the chemists have to go back to the lab to get a new formula or to tweak an old one.
On the other hand, it sure would be nice if the web crawlers would let us know what specifically they look for to determine the best sites having the best information. But where’s the fun in that?
So here we are, almost a year later, and what has changed and what has Hummingbird shown us? For starters, keywords matter, but they don’t rule like the days of old. You used to be able to just put your product or service, the city and as long as it appeared numerous times, you were good. Keyword stuffing is gone and replaced by quality content, but you still have to have copy that shows what you have while getting the search engine’s attention.
“Bottom line, Hummingbird was a rewrite of the search platform designed to allow Google to process new types of signals in new types of ways. Panda, Penguin, and link signals are all examples of signals that “plug in” to the Hummingbird platform, just as they did Google’s prior search platform,” reported Eric Enge.
What we’ve learned is that Blackhat SEO is almost dead, and the more real and relative your site is the more you will be rewarded by the crawlers.