This is no such thing as “survival of the fittest” in the SEO world. Herbert Spencer would have felt completely out of place in our Search Labs here at i3Media. Rather, the Search world is all about survival of the quickest; the quickest one to adapt that is. Charles Darwin would have felt right at home!

The SEO industry is all about adaptability.

Google periodically makes changes to its algorithm. Some of these changes we’re made aware of in advance (Panda and Penguin). Some are announced unexpectedly after they’ve already been running for a month (Hummingbird). Most of the changes go uninformed and are discovered by Search Technicians like us who have an intimate understanding of Google’s Algorithm and a sharp eye on client rankings. Below we will highlight 3 recent Google changes that online businesses can quickly adapt to and capitalise on.

Get On Google+

There was always more to Google+ than being just another social platform like Facebook. This month Google formally announced that it will be using Google+ data as part of ranking algorithm using information such as customer reviews, endorsements and advertisements. There are two things to take from this recent move from Google; Google+ and customer reviews. Both are great additions to any client’s social portfolio and are worth more than before. Create your Google+ page if you already haven’t. Start interacting with your customers through social media, Google+ in particular. Engage your target audience. Respond to any feedback they might leave on social platforms.

Conversing with Humming Bird

The introduction of Hummingbird was the latest announcement by Google. What made it significant compared to other announcements was that it was not just another update like Panda and Penguin. Rather, it was an overhaul of the existing algorithm like a new engine for a vehicle. The big emphasis of Hummingbird was conversational search, a whole new ballgame but a potential game changer nonetheless. Ever notice a microphone icon right next to the search box in Google? It enables you to speak the query rather than typing it.

Online businesses can greatly benefit from conversational search but it will require them to take a few steps. First order of business is to modify your existing SEO strategy to accommodate verbal search. Content is even more important. Create content that your audience wants to see. Highlight products your audience would be inclined to buy. Factor in seasonal events as they will impact conversational search head on such as Valentines’ Day.

Get Around Keyword Data Not Provided

By all means, one of the most controversial moves by Google was to increase user privacy by hiding data people type in the search query. For SEO’s this means less data mentioned in Analytics and more “Not Provided” keyword in the results. As frustrating that might be, there are ways to go around it and getting information you want.

Use Google Webmaster Tools and pay careful attention to anchor text and how it’s being used. Google Adwords is even more valuable than ever as it gives in depth analysis of any queries along with synonyms and variations.

With 2013 in its concluding stages, all eyes are on 2014 and what new changes Google have planned in the coming months. The only thing sure at this point is that companies will have to stay adaptive to whatever changes that come their way. Take it as they come but be ready to adapt. It’s the key to success. It will be the key to survival.

For more information on this subject or for a complete free analysis of your website, contact the Search experts at i3Media, a SEO and Web Agency in Peterborough.