Many people believe SEO to be dead. This is blatant nonsense of course, because however search engines change their algorithms, we can establish what they are seeking and then provide that on our websites. Here’s why!

Google Hummingbird Algorithm and Marathons

The new Google Hummingbird algorithm (it is more than just an update) has introduced search semantics into its resume. Hummingbird is the most radical change to search technology since 2001. It can take a full search phrase and break it down into what the searcher really wants to find. The days of Google seeking individual keywords or keyphrases are over.

It is highly likely that all this came to be with the introduction of voice search on smartphones. People can now state what they are looking for. The problem here is that when people speak they use more words that if they type their search query. Rather than type ‘Nike running shoes’ into a search box, they might say “Where can I get Nike running shoes for my next marathon.”

Google Hummingbird might look at this spoken request and also the IP address of the searcher. It might even check if the person has a Google+ account (they will be likely be logged in if they are using Google.) The algorithm might then lists Nike stores in their locality, and may even offer those advertising marathon running shoes.

This is how Google can use ‘local listing’ and ‘local search’ to connect an IP address or Google+ account with their local result. Even then, however, SEO is not dead, because to be listed you must be coded for local search and also be optimized for your store to be ranked first.

Writing Articles is Still Important

A major aspect of advertising your product or website, and of making sure you get a high ranking, is to write articles and publish them on your own website and submit them for publications on article directories, ezines and blogs. There are several advantages to doing this, including getting direct reads and clicks from the directory itself, having others copy your articles for use on their own sites, and for PageRank purposes.

Those that claim article directories to do more harm than good are talking rubbish. They probably can’t write and don’t want to pay somebody to do it for them. You can get a web page ranked #1 without any backlinks other than from article directories and those that copy your articles from them.

The latter tend to be other sites that specialize on your niche, and so their links are valuable to you. If you carry out a duplicate content search on any article you have published on a popular directory, you will likely find a good number published on high PR sites that relate to your article.

Hummingbird and Natural Writing

That apart, it is very important now to write naturally, without too much focus on keywords. The Hummingbird algorithm positively promotes natural writing rather than using keywords to meet a specific KD. A keyword density of greater than 1% might harm you now. The use of semantics by Hummingbird also suggests that writing standards will have to be higher, since badly written content may be punished.

Any algorithm that is programmed to identify well-written character strings for search purposes will certainly not identify badly written content. Search engine algorithms are not yet conversant with punk slang or schoolyard grammar! Sure, use it when you talk to your peers, but not when you write your website content.