By now, pretty much everybody knows that Google+ is the wave of the future for social and business networking. In many respects, Google+ is starting to feel like what would happen if the best parts of Facebook and Linked In got together and made tiny little social networking babies.
I was thinking about how much different social networking is now than it was even at this time last year when I came across an article posted on the 29 Prime reviews Google+ page and got a little distracted.
The Search Engine Land piece, “Eating My (Key)Words” is definitely an eye opener for anybody who thinks they’ve got a pretty good handle on how SEO and keywords actually work.
I’ve been operating under the old adage that keywords are simply what people type into the search engine box to find your website. If you want to raise the chances of people finding you via specific search terms, you seed your content (contextually) with those search strings. Now, though, the article points out, Google Glass and Google Now are making us re-think how our keywords are going to work and the effect they’re going to have on our sites and our search engine rankings.
This is all meant to help smooth the path as Google implements it’s Hummingbird update. With Hummingbird you can type a question into the search box and get answers to your question as your results…which seems like pretty standard SEO, right? Unlike standard SEO, though, you can then type another question that relates to your first search into the box and get results based on that.
A common example used in the articles I’ve read is first asking “who is the President of the United States?” and getting pictures and links to pages of information about Barack Obama. Then if you type “who’s his wife?” into the system, you get pictures and links to information about Michelle Obama. It’s great for the user but harder for site owners who have lost the ability to track the intent of a user who found him or herself on a specific page.
So what does this mean for you, the website owner?
Mostly, it means that if you haven’t gotten creative and content focused already, now is the time to do so. You honestly cannot game the SEO system anymore. Now SEO is going to focus more on links, the context of your content and how useful it is for what people are typing. It’s not just a numbers game anymore.