This hummingbird isn’t your average beija flor; it’s Google’s latest update and it might have rocked your world back in August and you might not have noticed until recently. Now those disturbances you sensed in the Force over the past few weeks make a little more sense following Google’s announcements of 9/26/13.
All joking aside, these changes in Google’s algorithms can drastically affect traffic to your website. As always, Google tells us basically that if we create websites which have good content for humans, and well-formed html, there’s nothing to worry about. However many sites continue to run on old infrastucture which is tough to upgrade in a short time, etc., etc. (excuses). Owners of those sites may have the most to worry about when these changes occur.
Here are some links for you to review and get up to speed quickly on these changes. Review your Google and Bing Webmaster Tools data, your web analytics data, and pick up the pieces following this change. Learn from the data you churn: improve your website content and infrastructure, monitor your rankings and your traffic.
FAQ: All About The New Google “Hummingbird” Algorithm (SearchEngineLand)
Google Algorithm Change History (Moz)
Follow search engine changes on a daily basis:
Daily forecast at mozcast.com (weather forecast analogy)
SERPs volatility at serps.com (lots of other useful free tools here as well)
One of the most frustrating details with Google Analytics and its ever-changing features is dealing with the sad ‘not provided’ listing in Keywords reports. Here’s a couple of nicely detailed blog posts which can help you regain some insight into which pages of your site get this ‘unidentified’ traffic, and therefore get you some ‘intel’ into visitor interest/intent.
First helpful ‘not provided’ post at Custom Report Sharing for Google Analytics
Read that post and you’ll find this one at eConsultancy.
Enjoy and best of luck unraveling these mysteries!
It isn’t pefect, but the Scritch CMS detector tool is very useful when you need to know what CMS is running on a certain website. If you need to know where the site is hosted and what https server responds for the site, Netcraft is excellent. Need to know what web analytics is in place for a particular site? The Vendor Discovery Tool at Web Analytics Demystified can help.
I read about WooRank just today and I like it. Of course a paid offering exists, but the free offering covers a lot of ground when you need a quick read when evaluating a new website. It quickly summarizes traffic, search engine ranking, SEO qualities, server and other info to get you started quickly. If you need some background history on a site or domain, supplement the WooRank data with info from Netcraft.com.
The holy grail of search engine optimization is to master the factors affecting page rank. SEOmoz.org has a beautiful and highly detailed (forensic!?) explanation of the elements of a web page which influence page rank. I wouldn’t try to print it, though – the solid backgrounds used would run through three ink cartridges in moments. Enjoy!
Update: (2/2010) – evidently someone at SEOmz read my ink cartridge remark, because they’ve reworked their content to by much more friendly. Cheers!