Monthly Archives: October 2013

Hummingbird vs Panda and Penguin…

Okay, so we’re all familiar with Google’s sudden and violent changes in direction when it comes to their algorithms… Whether you believe it’s down to the pursuit of providing superior content for end users or for lining their own pockets, the truth it, they have a monopoly over search at the moment, and they don’t need to explain anything to us.

Hummingbird

So, what is ‘Hummingbird’? It’s actually the name given to the largest algorithm change that anyone has seen over the past 12 years, this has slowly been introduced in stages over the previous 12 months and is inclusive of the well documented ‘Panda’ and ‘Penguin’. Google aimed to provide a ‘better experience’ for users, and to be able to provide results on more complex queries, such as questions and full sentences, rather than individual words. So now Google should be better equipped to provide accurate results to searches such as “Please find me a good Italian restaurant in Winchester” than it once was – This is important as more people are using voice controlled programs such as Apple’s Siri to conduct Google searches. So, that’s positive right? Well yes – it should be!

But as they’ve given with one hand they’ve taken with the other, and by restricting all keyword data from webmasters then site owners can no longer find out how people have searched to find their site. This https: security means that Google now holds all the cards. How can a developer produce a better site that is more responsive to what people want if site owners cannot see the keyword results to work out what is now considered as ‘Good content’? It certainly makes things more difficult…

So why this final change? The (Keyword Not Found) on everyone’s Google Analytics codes was designed to push more webmasters and marketers towards Google’s Pay Per Click campaigns… In a desperate attempt to keep up with their audience and understand their actions. So this in itself raises the very question of ethics, with one hand they are encouraging great content for users, whilst on the other they are making it more difficult for webmasters to provide it without paying for the information necessary? Doesn’t quite feel right, especially as many site owners would consider that data to be theirs, as it’s information searched by their customers, looking for their site…