Google made several significant changes this month that should be on every marketer’s radar.
1) Algorithm Change
What it means: September 4 we saw a shift in the algorithm. While these updates have become fairly routine, we monitor them because their effects may impact the traffic to your website’s traffic. We now know this signal was the initial roll-out of Hummingbird.
2) Intelligent Search (Hummingbird)
What it means: September 26 Google announced it is evolving beyond simple keyword matching to understanding parts of speech. I would make references to Star Trek here, but a more current and familiar parallel for iphone users is the way Siri handles questions.
While a Websites Structure, Content, Incoming Links and Freshness remain at the core of what are important to ranking, with this update we feel the location and context in which your product and services are discussed is going to be more important than ever.
3) Key Word Tracking Stopped
What it means: When someone Google’s for your products and services the key words (phrases) used to be cataloged in the analytics tracking. This information has been key for marketers to understand what phrases are delivering traffic and, more importantly the ones delivering business. With this announcement keyword data from internet searches is no longer being reported in Google Analytics. Sadly this means we will no longer have the ability to filter out “brand” traffic from Google analytics reports. We have always felt filtering out ‘Brand’ terms was one of the best ways to see how a website was performing for site is performing when people search generically for a business’ products and services
We will continue to have some visibility to keyword usage through Google’s webmasters tools and can still see keyword data in our advertising campaigns.