- March 07, 2014
- Bradley Taylor
With a new year comes new updates across the world wide web, with large companies like Google making the largest impact. Now that 2014 has firmly taken hold, some of Google’s new algorithmic changes have already been implemented keeping the world of search engine optimization (SEO) in constant flux. Here is a look at some of Google’s past changes in 2013 and early 2014 and what could potentially be on the horizon in the coming months.
Over the years, search engines have made user experience their top priority. This was never more apparent than with changes that were made in 2013 like the push for integrated social media, enhanced search result pages, and finally search algorithm updates such as Google’s Hummingbird. Google says that Hummingbird’s algorithms should provide users with better more intuitive search results. For a little background, an algorithm is the tech term for what happens behind the scenes to determine and provide the best answers to a search query.
Hummingbird stands out among other algorithmic updates made in 2013 as it was basically an entire replacement of Google’s previous system. It will take over 200 different considerations when returning results such as the quality of the web page, PageRank (another Google algorithm which, as its names suggests, ranks websites), and most importantly, user intent. Hummingbird aims to bridge the gap with its search platform and conversational or question-based search queries, with its ultimate goal of being able to handle all types of search queries whether by keyboard, mobile device, or voice. Hummingbird was officially introduced seamlessly in September 2013.
With the implementation of Google’s new Hummingbird last year comes updates and tweaks to the system this year. Be on the lookout for additional mobile optimization. Websites designed to handle and perform well on smartphones and tablets will benefit. The focus on keywords will also continue to diminish, a trend that has been growing in efforts to combat those trying to ‘stack the deck’ with unsavory practices like keyword stuffing, as the focus on semantic search continues to grow.
The underlying current through all these new changes is a constant improvement of user experience with Google doing its best to maintain its top spot among search engines. Website owner’s can continue to play the search engine optimization game successfully by ensuring their site contains both relevant and useful. Another factor is Google +. If you don’t have a Google + account, sign up for one. If you don’t like using, start using it anyway. Google has placed emphasis on this.