Pretty sounding search algorithm updates (Hummingbird, Panda, Penguin...) have plunged many digital publishers into peril as their content plummets out of search engine results pages in consequence.
The decline in visitors impacts the performance of ads, which hits revenue. Under pressure from the publisher and ad sales team, the media title’s SEO and editorial teams try to reverse engineer Google’s update and work out new tactics that will improve their search engine performance.
In the main, quality publishers producing compelling shareable editorial need not worry too much about Google algorithm updates. Google’s focus has generally been to prioritise quality content.
However, a key objective of the Hummingbird update is to accommodate the fact that more searches are being conducted, and more content is being consumed, on smartphones.
As people are beginning to use their smartphone’s voice recognition functions to actually talk to Google search apps, Google has started to respond to search terms given in natural speech, a key part of the Hummingbird update.
'Big whoop', right? No. Massive whoop, especially for the 68% of the UK’s 175 top publishers do not have a digital site that displays effectively for mobile devices.