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Researching keywords in a Hummingbird world

Posted On: December 31, 2013

Now that we’ve cleansed the palate with a social media topic, let’s get back to dealing with Google’s algorithm updates and changes. (You can tell we think this is really, really important. That’s just because it’s really, really important.)

As we mentioned last month, with the launch of Google’s Hummingbird update, it’s removed search query data —information that shows site owners and marketers which key terms are being used to find their sites.

Google has done this, essentially, to keep sites from artificially seeding their sites with particular keywords regardless of their relevance. It wants sites to focus on high-quality organic content that provides real value to searchers.

This has thrown some marketers and webmasters for a loop, generally because they’ve been more focused on artificially boosting SEO than on producing really good sites. At Ring Ring Marketing, we’ve always encouraged focusing on making a great site, because Google will always figure out workarounds. The system will always catch up with you.

Still, it’s important for SEO to generally know what keywords people are looking for when they search for the services and products you provide. Here are some ways to do that:

Check out Yahoo and Bing: While Google remains the main player in search, it’s not the only one. Human nature is human nature: what people search for Yahoo and Bing won’t be radically different from what they search for on Google. These engines don’t provide as much detail as Google did, but they’re still useful for determining good keyword phrases.

Review your post popular blog posts: The keywords associated with these posts often will be good keywords to use in your SEO. You can further plug these keywords into the Google Keyword Planning Tool to find suggestions for long-tail keywords that should perform well. These are becoming invaluable as Google continues pushing for more natural, conversational search queries with Hummingbird.

Use a site search bar: Having a search bar on your site isn’t just beneficial to your visitors. It keeps them on your site longer, which will improve your search rankings. Even better, it provides you a report on what terms people are using when they search your site. This is invaluable information for determining what keywords people will search for to find your website in the first place.

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