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Darren Chow is a full time writer, web developer, and Internet marketer. He graduated from the National University of Singapore and started dabbling in web design while still studying. Today, he spends his time writing for established websites and promoting websites for clients.
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Is this happening to you?

Google recently announced another major algorithm update: the Hummingbird update. Unlike previous updates, this new change seems to have little impact on search rankings. It revolves more around providing relevant search results to web visitors.

Relevancy has always been a huge challenge from the perspective of Google. With this new update, they are able to pinpoint the type of information that a person is trying to find. For example, it can provide facts for comparison when you make a search like “apple vs orange”1.

Google is also able to connect searches together. For instance, you can search for a monument, and then ask how high is it? The search engine will understand that the second search is related to the first one and provide a relevant answer.

What does the most recent update mean for the webmaster?

The update doesn’t appear to be ranking oriented. Some webmasters have reported that they have seen a drop in rankings. However, I suspect this has little to do with the latest update.

google-update

A quote from Forbes:

No, SEO is not yet again dead. In fact, Google’s saying there’s nothing new or different SEOs or publishers need to worry about. Guidance remains the same, it says: have original, high-quality content. Signals that have been important in the past remain important; Hummingbird just allows Google to process them in new and hopefully better ways.2

It appears that this always happen after a search engine update. So my advice still stands after so many years: Don’t just depend on search engine traffic. Build up your Internet presence, and use a variety of traffic generation methods to promote your website.

Now we have more tools than ever:

  • Social media.
  • PPV advertising. (Banner ads)
  • Video marketing.
  • Email marketing.
  • PPC advertising.
  • Placement targeting, interest targeting, topics targeting.

Marketing tools have evolved and have gotten more sophisticated. Take your pick.

There is a general tendency for Google to move away from ranking sites based on links alone. Links will still have some weightage, but my guess is that it’s role will be shadowed by other factors such as author visibility and social signals.

For instance, Google is making identity a big part of it’s search engine ranking algorithm. The argument is that anonymity allows webmasters to escape from accountability and this leads to poor quality content. With accountability, the overall quality of the content on the Internet tends to be higher. So we’re back to square one – no running away from publishing high quality content if you want your site to stand a chance in the search results.

How does Google tell if a website or blog belongs to you?

Well, you can link your website (or any web page) to your Google Plus profile using Rich Snipplets. What are Rich Snipplets? According to Wikipedia3, Rich Snipplets is Google’s markup language. By using certain “trigger” keywords, the search engine will activate special features.

By linking your website with your Google Plus profile page, you are letting Google know that you are the publisher of the website. Your profile photo will appear in the search results, and may even boost click through rates.

Linking your website involves just 2 simple steps:

1) Add rel=”author” tag to your website.

2) Add your link to your Google Plus profile page.

You may then test out your website by using the Rich Snipplets Webmaster tool 4.

rich-snipplets-preview

It’s better that I show you how to do this in a video. So watch the video below to learn how to link to your website.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goL21tQnqS0


  1. Google Search: Apple vs orange 

  2. Forbes: On Hummingbird Update 

  3. Wikipedia: Rich Snipplets 

  4. Rich snipplets webmaster tool