Can you compete with Google?
Although search engine marketing can be rather complex, up until now the theory behind it has been relatively simple: Brands wanting to rank well for a particular keyword need to battle it out amongst themselves for the top spot.
However, with the new Hummingbird algorithm in place, brands conducting content marketing now have a new competitor – Google.
In a bid to make search more efficient, Google now answers general knowledge questions itself with its Knowledge Graph.
Although this is undoubtedly helpful for browsers, there is no denying that Google’s interference may be taking away some attention from top search results.
In fact, now Google provides bullet point summaries of content for some search queries.
“Google is making an effort to give the publisher a nice big link, but the truth is the user really has no need to click through to the publisher’s site to get the answer.” said Search Engine Land’s News Editor Barry Schwartz, who picked up on the changes.
Currently this new bullet point feature is in effect on Google.com, but hasn’t started showing up on Google.com.au yet. However, other aspects of Google’s Knowledge Graph are already up and running in Australia.
Google is also starting to muscle in on search results by integrating its other search media.
A recent study by SearchMetrics looked into the integration of Google’s other search features such as Google Videos, Google Images, Google Maps and Google News, which they referred to as “Universal Search” results.
The study found these Universal Search results show up in 81 per cent of all searches according to data they gathered at the end of 2013, an increase of 75 per cent from the previous year.
Videos are the most prominent result. Videos feature in 65 per cent of all search results, and 54 per cent are provided by YouTube.
The next most common result is Images, which show up in 40 per cent of all results, the study showed.
Maps are the least common, which makes sense as they would often only show up in local searches.
Therefore, brands are now competing with Google as well as the competition.
Unfortunately, there is nothing brands can do at the moment but embrace these new changes. On the plus side, since Hummingbird rewards sites with useful content, it could pay off to design a strategy dedicated to producing valuable content.
Posted by Dylan Brown