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A while back a client informed me that Google had once again changed its SEO ( search engine optimization) rules. I was stumped…what now! I immediately went on a frantic Google search mode to figure out the latest SEO copy-writing techniques.  Here’s what I found.

Hummingbird is aimed at recognizing human phrases

You see, the aim of Google’s changes in search engine algorithms ( Penguin, Panda and now Hummingbird) have always been directed at one thing and that is populating websites with the most genuine, relevant and widely appreciated quality content.

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There are more than 300 species of hummingbirds. They flap their wings 50 times a second. Scientists are studying how hummingbirds are so incredibly efficient at burning sugar and converting it into energy, in the hopes of finding a solution to human obesity.

What Hummingbird in particular aims to do is to populate results that are more attuned to the search phrases typed. For example – ‘Hyundai cars 2013’ versus ‘Hyundai car models launched in 2013’.

This is part of the search engine giant’s attempt to ready itself for voice based search commands. While most of us type on our keyboards, smartphones and other mobile devices, the future points to ‘voice command’ led information searches. This is specially relevant for devices such as Google Glass  ( it will be ready for mass launch sometime this year and is operated using voice, and motion commands such as winking).

SEO copy-writing essentials remain the same

So this brings us back to the main point of interest – what does the online content writer need to do to help clients achieve the desired rankings? The good news is that the basic principles of SEO friendly content writing have not changed.

Here are three must-have’s for SEO friendly content development:

1. Develop content that offers benefits or addresses needs of visitors: When people type in search phrases, they are looking for specific answers. Evaluate what are the potential questions that customers of the business you are writing for could have?  Develop content that answers those questions.  For example, a children’s party planning company can have blogs on ‘tips on planning your child’s party’ or ‘ the perfect party favors for your child’s party’.  The focus is clearly on content that is fresh and more importantly relevant to the customers that could potentially search for the business online.

2. Keywords are important, but focus on long-tail keywords and associated words – As has been repeatedly said by many an internet marketing experts, ‘write for humans’. This means include long-tail keywords that are more likely to be part of search phrases. For example – application development for android devices instead of application development. What is absolutely not acceptable is key-word stuffing. Content with keywords density greater than 5% will result in the site being penalized by search engines.

3. Write quality content –  Develop content that is worthy of being shared on social media by visitors and followers.  Here is the interesting thing – sharing of content improves a website’s search engine rankings, which improves chances of the website being found, which results in higher chances of making a sale. You see a potential customer who reaches a business website through  search engine is more likely to buy a product/service, than someone who is bombarded with an online advert or email marketing campaign.

Weaving keywords smartly into the content and taglines, building organic links and to external credible websites and a succinct meta description for the article will always be good SEO practices.

The end goal of SEO is to use the language that people use, so that the relevant website content can be easily located when the ‘need’ arises.  In the post hummingbird era, websites that offer ‘expertise’ and ‘solutions’ in the shape of content, will do well.

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