In a completely unprecedented move, Google has moved entirely into “secure search,” meaning that HTTPS encryptions will be used for all Google searches. While users relish the increased privacy efforts, this poses a challenge for online marketers, as this means that keyword data will no longer be available to site owners – it is not provided.
But don’t worry! While this might seem like a sort of “apocalypse” in the web marketing industry, the biggest impact will be the inability to segment users based on keywords. Essentially, businesses will no longer be able to track searches that are branded versus those that are not-branded.
So what exactly does this mean? Google’s ‘(Not Provided)’ and Hummingbird updates are part of a larger vision to redefine the search algorithm. As the web continues its evolution, previous tactics for link acquisition and SEO efforts won’t reap the ranking benefits they once did.
Instead, business owners and internet marketers alike must familiarize themselves with the continued evolution of SEO. Here are some of the key points to consider:
- Brand recognition is critical for ranking. While we can’t say for certain exactly how Google’s search algorithm works, all indicators suggest that brand is important to how well a site ranks. Even if the brand name itself isn’t included in the backlink, it will provide an SEO boost as long as it is included in the content. Brand names are going to be an indicator of legitimacy.
- Content will become more focused. With these updates, content will still be king. However, instead of focusing on specific keywords for ranking, content must be targeted towards answering specific questions that consumers might have. By following a legitimate content strategy that provides value for the end-user, you can ensure that your site will continue to rank.
- Create entrance pages. Instead of focusing on non-branded keyword traffic, turn your attention to creating new entrance pages for your website instead. Remember, a site that is continuously expanding in depth and breadth is an indicator that the site is alive, influential, and growing. The stronger of a resource that your site becomes, the more likely Google will honor your site.
How to Create Content on a Regular Basis
Since new entrance pages and growing website breadth are now important factors, it’s critical for your content strategy to take center stage in the midst of Hummingbird and ‘(Not Provided)’. Of course, creating content on a regular basis can be difficult, especially without the help of an editorial calendar.
By newsjacking trending topics, investing in alternative content mediums (such as video), and creating visual content (such as info-graphics), you can ensure that you’re regularly producing quality content for your site. This will continue to help your rankings as Google continues refining its algorithmic considerations.
Ultimately, this means that the way success is measured is going to change. Instead of focusing on keyword traffic, the criteria will focus on an increase of new customers. By focusing on growing your business and improving conversion rates, you can ensure that your business stays current with Google’s dramatic SEO changes.