The purpose of SEO is to have your web pages and site content indexed, such that people will discover it quickly when they do a Google search. But, you may want to avoid indexation, especially after Google’s Hummingbird rollout. Read on, to understand why.

What Hummingbird Means for SEO

Earlier, Google used keywords to crawl the net for useful results. But with the Hummingbird update, Google will put less emphasis on matching keywords and instead, try to uncover what the user is hoping to obtain through their search. Instead of looking for articles and pages which contain keywords from the search, Google will look at the entire phrase and display results based on the context of the search. This means that Google will attempt to understand the true purpose and relevance of a website’s content, rather than just matching the keywords and data. As an online retailer, this means you need to create a marketing strategy and deliver content that gives a clear, useful message that caters to your audience.

Why Backlinks and Old Tricks May Hurt You

Earlier, the way to higher page rankings was backlinks. But this often results in your content and keywords being plastered over hundreds of low-quality websites and web pages. There are other scenarios, where indexation can also be detrimental. For example:

  • A coupon or promotion which continues to rank high even past it’s expiry date
  • Products added to a public wish list (Like Amazon) which will generate a new page with the same title tag as the original product page

You can keep tabs on low-grade backlinks by using Google’s ‘disavow links’ feature. Using Google Webmaster tools, you can download a list of backlinks Google has for your site, create a list of links you want ‘disavowed’ and send that list to Google.

What You Need to Focus on

Google has made it clear – create content that speaks to your audience, and make it high-quality. Some imperatives are:

  • Since Hummingbird is putting semantic search into context for the user, you need to work on understanding the needs of your audience, and creating a marketing plan that pushes their buttons. A single search term will have different connotations for different segments of your audience. You need to unlock what each user segment wants. In a sense, know what they may want before even they do!
  • Update regularly. Fresh and relevant content will be considered of a higher quality
  • Get Google authorship. Not only does it improve clicks, but you need to sign up for it to claim your content

Have you made any changes to your content strategy in the wake of Hummingbird?