It seems that increasingly, we’re seeing more and changes coming down the pike at both Google as well as Bing and other search engine’s. Here’s a round up of what you might have missed in search last week:
A decade ago, Google would tell you exactly what search term someone used to find your site. A year or so ago, they changed to only give you some of that very valuable information. These days, Google now is not showing you any information about how someone found your site. For large scale marketers, that is probably a very, very big issue to be sure, but not for me. While it would certainly be nice to know how big certain keywords are explicitly, it isn’t essential since I’m only running one site and I can do a good job at keeping track of my rankings and the traffic coming from those rankings by myself. Google says that they are making this change because of complaints about NSA spying, but I think it also doubles as a way for the corporation to force businesses to spend some money on advertisements to get a better idea about what keywords convert well. So what’s the easiest solution? A look at my site shows that Bing/Yahoo provides us approximately 10-15% of our total search traffic. In essence I can get a realistic idea of the relative size of search terms on Google by using that ratio and the number of visitors I receive from Bing/Yahoo, which still shows the exact term that brought someone to our site. Of course, I will have to have some idea about the relative ranking position of a term on the two sites, but any information is going to be helpful in this new, more difficult environment.
An article (or maybe more of a survey) over at Search Engine Roundtable shows that on average, SEO’s believe that larger websites rank better than smaller ones. I think this makes good sense, after all there are two major advantages to a larger website. First, a larger website simply means that you have more opportunities to create incoming links. Once that page rank and link juice is flowing into your site, you have ample opportunity to use anchor text heavy links to send it and sculpt it toward the pages where you can make sales.
At its core, Hummingbird is suppose to help create and deliver better results for conversational search. As an exmple, where should I go eat tonight? Having seen my wife search, this is how she performs many of her searches, but the results simply aren’t as good as if she simply wrote, Berkeley restaurants. I’m glad Google is learning along with their users here.
Over the coming weeks and months I am sure we will continue to see an even more changes to the respective search algorithm’s so I hope this new weekly guide will help you plan for the future.