November has been a remarkably quiet month in the world of search. However that does not mean that there were not some interesting insights. The most important of which is how the Hummingbird update will continue to change the world of internet marketing.
In October Google released a massive infrastructure change it called Hummingbird. The SEO industry is still trying to work out what effects this change will have for SEO and new insights are coming every week, the biggest of which is the growing importance of “Semantic Search”.
Semantic search is the term used to describe Googles efforts to move away from just using basic metrics like keywords to rank websites in its results pages and move instead to a system where it takes in to account the user intent and interpretation of the query used in an effort to provide real answers to questions, predict search queries and personalise the search results. In essence providing a more interactive, conservational and dialogue-based search result.
There are five ways to make sure that we can future proof our seo efforts:
1. Optimise for user intent – Don’t just target keywords, focus on what really matters to your users.
2. Combine SEO campaign with Social Media Marketing – As personal search results becomes the norm it is more important than ever to make sure that your SEO and Social Media campaigns are working together. Search engines are able to use the social media profile of their users to present them with results that the search engines believe the user would prefer. Making sure your SEO and Social Media work together will mean that the search engines will see that your site is relevant to their users and therefore more likely to rank well.
3. Leverage Google+ properly and fully – This is owned by Google and it makes sense that they will use it to help improve their search results for their users.
4. Use scheme.org mark-up – This allows search engines to quickly and easily pick out the most relevant information on your site for their users and display that information on their search result pages, helping to increase click-through-rates.
5. Continue with standard SEO – The basics of SEO haven’t changed. It is still essential to have your website properly optimised with high quality relevant links.
In one of his webmaster tools videos the head of search spam at Google Matt Cutts gave an un-characteristically useful piece of information. He said to always avoid duplicate meta descriptions. It is better to have no meta descriptions then duplicate ones.
Cutts says that he doesn’t even use them on his site and just lets Google auto-create snippets.
Well that’s it for this month, as I said there’s not much to report at the moment but the nuggets that have come out we definitely keep the world of SEO busy this month!