The new Hummingbird update from Google has set the SEO world atwitter. Understandably the tweets and the blog posts and the stories are starting to make it look a worse than it actually is for the industry. If you have asked yourself what is Google’s play here, what are they up to now? All you need to look at is the last paragraph of the Google Hummingbird update blog post.
“We’ll keep improving Google Search so it does a little bit more of the hard work for you. This means giving you the best possible answers, making it easy to have a conversation and helping out before you even have to ask. Hopefully, we’ll save you a few minutes of hassle each day. So keep asking Google tougher questions—it keeps us on our toes! After all, we’re just getting started.”
Which in regular English speak actually means
Google is trying to return content that is relevant to the query without prioritizing content that just happens to use the exact same phrasing. By being smarter about how they pick results they improve their understanding of the context within which the search is requested. Context and conversational (voice) search will get better and will give you more usable results.
Its nearly as simple as that. Given that so many more people have started to search using natural language such as “Who is Raj Murthy” or “What is the height of mount Everest” Google is now trying return the most accurate and appropriate content and not just anyone who fits the bill and just so happens to (by SEO design of course) use the same exact phrasing. With the rapidly rising group of consumers using voice based search this becomes even more important to return better results the very first time. Its all part of what I now see as Google’s larger scale integration and incremental updates.
So what does this mean for your SEO efforts. Absolutely nothing. Nothing has changed, you will still need to continue creating the best original content that engages users. The SEO industry is safe and SEO is not once again dead, party on.
Today is a significant day at Instagram, the company announced that it had reached 150 million active users with more than 50 million of these active users joining in the last 6 months. A blog post from the company reveals this milestone and its global reach.
Most users and experts alike had speculated that Instragram’s business model for making money would include some form of advertising but a Wall Street Journal post (via @evelynrusli) indicates that the company is carefully considering options unlike Facebook that just jumped into too many things at the same time. Maintaining the ‘coolness’ of Instagram while implementing a seemingly non intrusive monetization strategy is indeed going to be difficult. Instagram much like Pintrest is a user driven community with all content actively being created and curated by its users. Some possible business models include
1) Advertise brands tagged or automatically found within pictures.
2) Featured content that companies are charged for and promoted (ala sponsored content on Facebook)
3) Ability to do a twist on affiliate marketing where viewers can click on photos to purchase the item found on the picture in an m-commerce transaction.
None of these are going to happen without backlash from the user base. 150 million is an impressive number but history suggests that aggressive efforts often frustrate and anger users. The one thing going for Instagram is that they are not under pressure like Facebook to reveal a full business model.