What you need to know about Google’s new Hummingbird Update

Google Hummingbird UpdateSearch Engine Optimizers and website owners are familiar with the fact that Google changes its algorithm a bazillion times ever year and each time, they give the update a unique name. Some of the names may sound extremely funny because they are based on people, cities, states, animals or drinks. Some of their most popular updates were the Penguin, Panda, Pelican, Polar Bear and not to forget the Big Daddy update. The codename of Google’s most recent algorithm update is “Hummingbird”.

The announcement of Google’s Hummingbird update made quite a stir in the web and SEO communities. The announcement of the algorithm coincides with Google Search turning 15 years last month. From 1998 to 2013, Google Search has come a long way and so has the way information is shared on the Internet. Today, billions of people have access to the Internet daily and the web has grown exponentially in the last 2 decades.

Unlike the Panda, Penguin and other updates which were changes to parts of the old algorithm, the Hummingbird update is a major update, much like the Caffeine Update that happened in 2010, but it is still different. The Hummingbird update sorts through the information available on the web effectively rather than simply improving the way Google gathers information. According to Amit Singhal, Google’s search chief, this is a drastic change in the algorithm since he joined in 2001.

Should you be worried?

According to Google, there is nothing new or different which SEOs and website publishers need to worry about. If you have original, high-quality content on your website, you should not be worried. Original and high quality content will always be appreciated by Google; the Hummingbird update just allows Google to process that content in new and better ways.

The next good thing is that if the past Google updates have not affected you, you will come through Hummingbird unscathed too. The algorithm was already live for a month before it was publicly announced and there has not been a major outcry among publishers. There may be a query-by-query effect which helps improve specific searches, but it is not an update which will cause major traffic shifts.

In these 15 years, Google has become less of a search engine and more of a wise, all-knowing guru. Questions like “Who”, “What”, “When”, “Where”, “Why” related to your daily struggles are effectively answered by Google. Internet users have also changed the way they search online, and instead of typing in a few keywords related to a topic, they enter lengthy queries regularly. Hummingbird is addressing this search trend.

With Hummingbird, Google is trying to understand the user’s intent and meaning when they type in “long tail” searches. Google announced that it is moving away from a keyword-based search to providing niche websites to the searcher. When Amit Singhal announced the Hummingbird update, he also affirmed that Hummingbird is also an infrastructural update, which governs more than 200 elements that make up Google’s algorithm.

What do you think of the Hummingbird update? Do you think your website is now getting more visitors, less visitors or you don’t see any change in web traffic?

Never run out of Facebook Content Ideas

I have been managing a Facebook page for the Society for Multiple Sclerosis Patients in Pakistan and have often found myself short of ideas to add to the page. So I have compiled this list of ideas which will help you keep your Facebook page updated with fresh posts and updates all the time. Just like coming up with new ideas to update your blog regularly can be demanding, coming up with ideas for your Facebook page can also be challenging.

A major issue with social media pages, especially Facebook posts, is that the post needs to be interesting which engages the Facebook fans. So before you start biting your nails, here are some great tips to help you come up with content ideas that are worth sharing on Facebook!

Keep a notepad with you at all times

An idea can come to you anytime, whether you are in the office, going to work, shopping at the supermarket, visiting a friend or just browsing online. You might be surprised, but ideas can even come to you when you are in the shower or trying to get some sleep at night. The best thing to do when an idea comes to your mind is to note it down somewhere and document it. You can do it using a paper and pencil or using your mobile. Just make sure you document the idea before you forget about it.

Use a Planner or calendar

Once you have all the ideas with you, the next step is to organize them. Use a calendar or planner for that. If there is an event coming up, mark it on your calendar. Documenting the ideas on an editorial calendar will help you plan ahead and keep you on track. When you note down and mark it on your calendar, there is no chance that you will miss an event. Be sure to review the calendar every couple of weeks as it will help you come up with new ideas and you can also expand on earlier posts.

Generate a list of Keywords

Sit down and brainstrom for some keywords related to your Facebook page. Search those keywords on Google and list down more keywords related to your main keyword. Keywords can help you come up with lots of fresh ideas. You can also use keyword search tools to see what other keywords are highly searched and use them in your Facebook posts.


Use images to post on your Facebook page

Check Pinterest for graphic ideas related to your Facebook page. Hire a graphic designer or use a photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop to create new images for your page. Facebook is all about visuals and Facebook users love to see videos, screencasts, cartoons and memes. I use a lot of image based posts on the Facebook page for the Society for Multiple Sclerosis Patients in Pakistan, and I have added all those images to the Pinterest page for SMSPPakistan also.

Stay up to date with industry news

Join forums, newsletters, set up a newsreader and visit niche sites and communities related to your page. This will not only increase your knowledge and make you more productive, but it will also give you a lot of fresh content ideas. Be sure to note down all those ideas and mark them on your calendar. You can even subscribe to magazines related to your specific niche and use them for more ideas. AND do not forget to use your competitor’s page as a source of ideas!

Use these tips and you will never run out of ideas to update your Facebook page ever!

What is Guest Blogging?

When bloggers write posts or content to share or publish on other blogs, it is called Guest Blogging. This method has gained a lot of popularity recently and can be done in two different ways:

  1. When you write a post and have it published on another blog.
  2. When someone else submits a guest post to your blog.

Let’s have a closer look at what these two types really are.

Publishing guest posts on other blogs – As a blogger, you can increase the reach and exposure of your blog as well as your knowledge by writing posts and publishing them on other blogs. A guest post is not necessarily promotional stuff, but it can be on any topic which is interesting for the readers of that blog where you will be publishing the guest post. You can include a link or reference to your blog at the end of the guest post to drive traffic and users to your website or blog.

Allowing guest blogging on your blog – You can allow bloggers to guest post on your blog. This way, you will not be updating your blog yourself at all times, but you will have content / posts coming from other bloggers. Just make sure the post you are publishing on your blog is not blatant promotion and is interesting for your readers. The guest blogger can add a link at the end of the guest post to drive traffic and users to their blog or website.

Why Guest Blogging?

Guest Blogging is a great way to get backlinks from other websites to your website. The good thing is that these links stay there for a very long time unlike link directories or reciprocal link pages which are updated and cleaned regularly. Guest Blogging not only helps build quality back links to your site but it can also help drive traffic and users to your blog.

As an active blogger, you should use guest blogging to help promote your products or services. Guest blogging gets quality backlinks which help improve your website rank in search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. It is also great for branding also.

Guest Blogging may be a slow process, but it will help in your SEO efforts. Make sure you look for blogs which are related to the theme of your website or blog where you get your guest post published.