The Hummingbird update went live in November 2013, although in honesty it has been slowly introduced since September 2013. The biggest change seems to have happened on the 14th of November, and people are confidently saying they have come through it unscathed. Though it is true that some domains took a nose dive in the time between September and November, the truth is that your Hummingbird penalty may not have even taken effect yet.
The hummingbird update is a slow evolutionary update that is going to take its time to fully affect most websites. It is based on the old search model, but changes have been littered throughout it. These changes are going to slowly grow into more fundamental algorithm functions so that things such as keyword densities and prominence will no longer matter for some websites, and where some websites are going to get more of an SEO benefit from their social media profiles than they do from their backlink profiles.
This however, is all in the future, and quite how this Hummingbird evolution is going to take place is a mystery. But, Google claim that the future is all about the user and not about the search engine. Here are a few tips on how to recover if the Hummingbird has damaged your SEO, but beware that these tips only work right now. For all you know, in two months or two years the search engine may have evolved to the point where these tips are no longer applicable.
We cannot be 100% sure yet
The Google Hummingbird update is one of the most fundamental changes they have made in a very long time. It is not an update that simply changes a few factors, it is a complete change that has been built both onto and into the current way that Google works. This means that as the search engine evolves and people change the way that they do their SEO, then the way you avoid penalties will also change.
Keywords are less important
This is very clear as Google have already started downplaying the effect of keywords. In their words they said they want Google to be more about the user, which means your website has to be. In their actions they have already moved the online version of their keyword tool, and you may have noticed far fewer updates to the PageRank add-on recently.
Answer questions with your web pages
If you want to get on the right track, then ask yourself what sort of questions a person may ask in order to get to your website. You must then answer those questions on your website as best that you can. Doing this will put you in a better position as the search engine changes.
Check your Google Analytics
They are still going to give you clues as to how to rise up through the search engine results pages. It is in Google’s interest to help you rank up in some ways, as they do need a working search engine to power their business. On the other hand, the harder it is for you to get to the top of the search engine results pages, then the more likely you are to use their Google AdWords program–so keep that in mind.
Check for Google articles on SEO
Every now and again you will read the Google articles on SEO. There are a lot of them on the Google website right now. Try not to pay too much attention to the ones written on other domains, as they are not the ones directly published by Google.
Watch what Google are doing
You can sometimes decipher what makes for good SEO by what they are doing. The example mentioned earlier about how they have changed the location of their keyword tool is a good one.
Use Google AdWords
Using it alone may help you rank up, plus it does give you information about the most popular keywords and how much people are paying for them. If you notice that people are paying a lot for certain keywords, ask yourself if it is because they are used more on the search engine and why they may be used more.
Faster rendering and loading will help
Things such as usability on a technical level are always going to be a big point in your favor. How keywords and questions are used may change over time, but things such as how quickly the website renders and loads will be a ranking factor for a very long time, so improve that for an SEO boost.
Bio line: Kate Funk is a freelance writer at http://www.aussiewriter.com. She is mainly focusing on technology, gadgets and all the latest SEO trends which are interesting for networking enthusiasts.