Unlike Penguin and Panda, Google's latest update, Hummingbird, is an entire overhaul of the algorithm. Less than a couple of weeks old, it's already turning some Search Engine Optimization experts on their heads.
Designed to be more focused on meeting today's demanding searching public, Hummingbird appears to be much more refined, skilled, and specific in the way we search online. This means that for many SEO firms that employ black hat techniques and "tricks" to try and force their client's sites to the top of Google, are in for a rough road as they will now completely be forced to re-learn their trade. But, for those of us who have been living the "Content Is King" creed, Hummingbird is a Godsend. Hopefully the content marketers efforts will continue to be highly rewarded.
So what is Content Marketing and how is it affected by Hummingbird?
Good Question! Glad you asked. First, let's define the rules of good (OK, great...) Content Marketing.
- ANSWER questions (Yes, online) that your prospects and clients are asking. Hint: Learning to tap into what your clients are thinking, feeling, and saying is of utmost importance.
In other words—Listen, Teach, repeat.
Salespeople have understood this since the beginning of time. You have to give it away to get it. But now, as the source of all knowledge, Google is forcing the rest of the world to undertand it. Not only should you answer your customer's questions, you should encourage and embrace them, with total honesty and transparency. So, now that Google is on a mission to make search results even more relevant, answering specific questions is even more important than ever.
So, the bloggers, social media experts, online copywriters, and offer creators that have been using this technique for years now are about to be greatly rewarded for their efforts. Traditional SEO companies living in the past are just waking up to the fact that on page SEO manipulation is getting more and more difficult. Inbound links? A thing of the past. Metatags? Long gone. Slapping Keywords on a page? Good luck.
So here are a few things you can expect to start seeing in SEO Land:
First, many purely "SEO" companies will close their doors. They won't be able to adjust, and they will never be able to uderstand what we're talking about. As proof we've already seen this happen with Panda and Penquin, and it's only going to increaese.
Next, because the need for content is so critical to the success of long term SEO, many SEO companies will try to upsell you on content marketing as a separate service, when it should be fully integrated into their service to begin with. It's the key to success here.
And lastly, time is of the utmost importance. First to market always has the advantage. Those who respond quickly and do it well are in for immediate and dramatic results.
Digital marketing forms have known this all along. We've all known we should be paying more attention to what's happening online through the technology revolution, but we haven't committed to really taking part in it, because, well, we haven't really had to. Pay per click (also getting harder to manage) and other shortcuts to get our information on to the top of the search engine rankings quickly have forced many of us to adopt bad habits. And, those bad habits are now actually getting us penalized and lowering our rankings. Content is King. It always was, and now for more reasons than one, Google has just polished its crown.