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3 Strategies to Keep Your Website Relevant to Google

February 25, 2014
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231752

Just after Google announced that its new search algorithm, Hummingbird, had taken flight, SEO professionals began trying to figure out what it meant for them and their clients. Hummingbird marks the biggest overhaul of the algorithm since Caffeine in 2010, affecting 90 percent of searches.

The latest update is able to better interact with the user, as it can now more accurately understand the subtleties of human language to produce relevant results. As Google can now interpret users’ long-tail search queries better than before, SEO professionals should focus on creating content that satisfies those queries. Here are some ways to adapt to the changes:

1. Analyze users’ intent to create better content. Any piece of content can be written well, but it must first serve a purpose as Hummingbird will only retrieve pages that offer the most tailored information. First, consider the types of search queries users search for. Having content that satisfies specific questions with conversational keywords -- as well as their synonyms, as Hummingbird focuses on semantic search -- sprinkled throughout the page where applicable is a better bet. Consider these types of content:

Related: How to Seamlessly Include Keywords in Your Web Content

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2. Set the type for better conversion rates. Users searching for answers want to find it fast. If a website’s pages have content with a font that’s too hard to read, users won’t take the time to try and decipher it. Hummingbird has tried to simplify the search process; its focus on tailored search results speaks to internet users’ need for speed. If users don’t want to spend time looking through multiple result pages, they certainly don’t want to spend time trying to read illegible font.

Before resetting all your type, take a look at a few different components of typography:

Related: 5 Dead-Simple SEO Hacks to Save You Time

Paying attention to these six facets of typography within your online content will help keep users on your website. Although there are many typefaces available, pick the one that’s easy to read over the one that has pretty, intricate designs.

3. Find alternatives to guest blogging. Google's spam expert Matt Cutts recently made waves by proclaiming that guest blogging was dead. Once a legitimate way to backlinks, spammers have made it harder for users -- and Google -- to find great content. The tactic can still be used, however, provided it is an authoritative blog (authorship helps!) with useful and original content. Instead of pumping out guest blog after guest blog, be selective about having one published or, alternatively, focus on other avenues for link building, such as:

The end game. With Hummingbird, a lot has changed for users in the way Google supplies its results. For SEO professionals and content marketers, the end game is the same: create high-quality, original and focused content.

Related: Yes, Guest Blog Posting is Still a Viable SEO Tactic for Growing Your Business