Posts Tagged ‘Bing’


How Google Hummingbird Affects Your SEO

Monday, October 14th, 2013

How Google Hummingbird's Semantic Search Affects Your SEO and Search Engine RankingOn Google’s 15th birthday, how should SEOs optimize for its new “semantic search” so they are not left out of the birthday party?

With 90 percent of searches worldwide affected and their search engine audience changed, marketing and public relations professionals are asking what the latest Google search engine semantic algorithm will mean for their online and mobile findability and  how to make their content and SEO strategies more Hummingbird-algorithm friendly.

At Hummingbird’s launch on September 26, Google explained drivers behind the “precise and fast” Hummingbird, saying search users increasingly expect the search engines to fulfill longer, more complex and conversational search queries.  Hummingbird, with its semantic approach, is an upgrade to the way search algorithms interpret these new types of queries, as it better understands the full question and the reasons for asking it, instead of just performing the old-school keyword-by-keyword matchmaking.

Amit Singhal, SVP at Google Search, said Hummingbird is an advancement in search technology’s capacity to understand language and that Hummingbird “makes search results even more useful, especially when you ask Google long and complex questions.”

Therefore, marketers and SEOs need to determine if their pages and content are optimized not only for the evolved nature of the search queries, but also for the new semantic Googling.  With Hummingbird’s release at the end of August, you should be able to compare your search rankings pre- and post-Hummingbird to determine any changes in traffic.

With this latest search engine evolution, Google is also looking ahead to the very near future of conversational mobile search overtaking desktop searches.  And Hummingbird makes Google more mobile-friendly. Considering Morgan Stanley’s analysis in The Mobile Internet Report that mobile web use will surpass desktop internet usage by 2015, Hummingbird’s launch seems extremely timely. With desktop searches also becoming more Siri-like, Google Chrome now includes the voice search option for its desktop queries.

Google searches make up 12.8 billion searches, or 66.7 percent of the 19.2 billion searches conducted monthly.  Distant competitors are Microsoft Bing with 3.4 billion or 17.9 percent, and Yahoo with 2.2 billion or 11.4 percent, according to June’s comScore qSearch analysis.  With Hummingbird, Google might keep on out-Googling its challengers and continue being the leading filter audience between SEOs, as well as the eyes and ears of their targeted consumers.

In fact, Hummingbird’s timeliness is all the more noteworthy considering the increasing Google-Bing competition.  In a recent blow to Google, Apple replaced Google with Bing as Siri’s search engine in the new iOS 7 rolled out on September 18. Although Siri will be Bing-ing rather than Googling, for the time being Google will still remain the default search engine in Safari.

For SEOs now re-optimizing content for Hummingbird’s web crawling, indexing and semantic search, Google says that its search quality rating guidelines regarding content creation have not changed since 2012. In these guides, Google says that creating new and useful content that no other site offers through blog posts, social media services, forums and other means, will “likely influence your website more than any other factors discussed.”

The mobile overtake of desktop demands content creation that is also mobile friendly; in the guidelines Google says that “While many mobile sites were designed with mobile viewing in mind, they weren’t designed to be search friendly.” And Google offers tips to help ensure that your mobile site is properly crawled and indexed.

For additional SEO tips, check out the BurrellesLuce newsletter, 5 Tips for Enhancing Your Link Building and SEO Strategy, and our SEO Tip Sheet.

Are you seeing a drop or an increase in your rankings due to Hummingbird? How are you re-optimizing for the evolved nature of search queries and the new semantic search engine approach? How much are you relying on Google guidelines to drive your SEO strategies? What questions do you have about the latest evolution in search engines?

Marketing through the Web: How Information is Power

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Kelly Mulholland*

Flickr Image: Jeffrey Beall

Flickr Image: Jeffrey Beall

There are three ways consumers use the web: they search, browse and buy. Most organizations increase their site’s traffic by adding searching tools and enhancing SEO. While this helps people answer their initial question of “what,” it doesn’t necessarily go the extra step and encourage them to browse or buy.

However, if positioned correctly, encouragement to go beyond just the initial search can be helpful to the consumer… at least when it comes to expanding their knowledge and possibly influencing their buying decisions. Today’s consumers, want a site to tell them something they didn’t think to search for or think they might want/need. In the process, they may be persuaded to take some action and possibly lead to a conversion or sale based on the resources you provide beyond the original search.   

Search Mode- Provide the consumer with what they know they want
When a prospective customer is searching a site they almost always have an overall notion of what they want, but perhaps not all the details or at least a vague idea of the need they want to fulfill. This is where websites that utilize the search toolbox plug-in (usually located at the top of a webpage) come into action. The client wants to be able to search their product and be given substantial results.

For instance, when I simply type in the search box “scarves” at ShopBop—a luxury clothing retail website and BurrellesLuce client—I get an overwhelming list of over 200 results. The search function on the site even makes my quest easier by providing suggestions of related searches much the way Google or Bing might.

Browse Mode- Provide detailed information
With a list generated, a prospective buyer shifts into browse mode. What’s important here is how much information is provided—the customer wants to know more about their prospective purchase in the most organized fashion possible, no pun intended. Generated reviews from other customers should be at complete view coupled with suggestions. This will help the consumer differentiate one product’s value from another. It is also most helpful to provide organizational tools for the client to be able to sift through all the search results.

Shopbop does a great job at this. First, I can see “More from Scarves /Wraps” and also descriptions about the designer and the item itself. I have the capability to see how other customers rated each scarf. I also have the option of organizing my products in “Wish Lists” and “My Likes/Hearts” giving me time to consider my purchases without fully committing myself to placing the product in “My Cart.” I can sort the scarves with drop-down options by designer, size, color, and price. These categorizations are an aid to a consumer who might be inundated with an overwhelming amount of data.

Buyer Mode- Be your customer’s personal researcher
Now that the customer has browsed all the data, they have finally chosen the best product for them. While they may be done researching, that doesn’t mean the work of the service provider should end there. In fact, it is now your job to take on a new role: personal researcher. As Tara Gessinger, states in this Online PR Media blog post on Online Public Relations: Building Personal Relationships with Customers in the Digital Age, you need to keep the online conversation with your clients going through email as you would in real life. For instance, provide future recommendations based on previous purchases to the client. After I browse ShopBop or make a purchase, I receive an e-mail weeks later suggesting clothing that I might like based on my past shopping experiences.

Sites using this type of search and browse capability are designed to work for people who research and take a period of time before making a committed decision. In today’s market, researched buyers are becoming the norm and the buying cycle is changing. The impulsive spendthrift is a dying species. Marketers need to be a step ahead of the curve. Web marketing should not be about gimmicks to get attention from a prospective buyer – today’s savvy consumers will see through this. Instead it is about understanding the keywords that buyers are using and then positioning campaigns to engage buyers to webpages full with the content they want (or never knew they wanted). 

How are you using search capabilities on your website to influence visitor action? What are some of your favorite search features provided by your favorite sites?

***

Bio: Before joining the Burrellesluce team in 2011, Kelly interned at CondeNast’s Glamour magazine as an editorial intern to the senior style writer and was an editor of her college newspaper. She received a B.A. in Behavioral Science and Business, Society and Culture from Drew University with honors. After graduation, she worked as a sales associate at Nordstrom and took a month off to travel abroad throughout Europe. In Kelly’s free time, she enjoys traveling, fashion, reading, bringing awareness to Breast Cancer, running 5Ks, baking and social media. Twitter:@miss_mulholland Facebook: BurrellesLuce; LinkedIn: Kelly Mulholland