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Web Analytics Report SEO Report

Web Analytics Report SEO Report

Author: Group Five Eli Cummings Arbind Giri Young Su Han Daniel Lee Joseph Ruzvidzo Jeanyi Shin Creation Date: 4/13/2014

Table of Contents
Introduction......3 Blog Post One..4 Blog Post Two.8 Blog Post Three..12 Conclusion.14


In this ever-changing world, it is important to keep up-to-date on recent developments and ideas. In the same way a doctor must obtain continuous education to stay at the top of their field, an employee in the analytics arena must stay informed about new products and changes in order to be successful. It is commendable for a person to be an expert on a piece of software or hardware, but once that software or hardware becomes obsolete, if that person didnt engage in continuing education, then he or she will have no place to turn. Understanding that a knowledge of recent advances is critical in todays competitive job market, our group decided it would be best to focus on current changes to the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) environment. The specific change we chose to research further was Googles introduction of its new search algorithm, its Hummingbird update. Google remains one of the most innovative companies in the technological field, and as the worlds most popular search engine, any change it makes to the services it offers is going to be noticed and analyzed. In the s ame light, any changes Google makes to its services has the potential to impact a large amount of people and companies worldwide. Thus, an understanding of Googles recent updates will prove nothing but beneficial to our group as we enter the job market. Also, a better understanding of Googles search algorithms will be useful in our day-to-day lives. Knowing the details of how a search engine works allows a user to search for information more efficiently and effectively. In this age, many people use a search engine daily. Whether its searching for a restaurant in their area or trying to find out their local weather, the search engine has become a staple of many peoples daily routine. This includes all the members of our group, and thus understanding Googles newest algorithm will prove useful the next time we use Googles search engine.

Blog Post One

Source: FAQ: All About The New Google Hummingbird Algorithm Google has a new search algorithm, the system it uses to sort through all the information it has when you search and come back with answers. Its called Hummingbird and below, what we know about it so far. Whats a search algorithm? Thats a technical term for what you can think of as a recipe that Google uses to sort through the billions of web pages and other information it has, in order to return what it believes are the best answers. Whats Hummingbird? Its the name of the new search algorithm that Google is using, one that Google says should return better results. So that PageRank algorithm is dead? No. PageRank is one of over 200 major ingredients that go into the Hummingbird recipe. Hummingbird looks at PageRank how important links to a page are deemed to be along with other factors like whether Google believes a page is of good quality, the words used on it and many other things (see our Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors for a better sense of some of these). Why is it called Hummingbird? Google told us the name come from being precise and fast. When did Hummingbird start? Today? Google started using Hummingbird about a month ago, it said. Google only announced the change today. What does it mean that Hummingbird is now being used? Think of a car built in the 1950s. It might have a great engine, but it might also be an engine that lacks things like fuel injection or be unable to use unleaded fuel. When Google switched to Hummingbird, its as if it dropped the old engine out of a car and put in a new one. It also did this so quickly that no one really noticed the switch.

Whens the last time Google replaced its algorithm this way? Google struggled to recall when any type of major change like this last happened. In 2010, the Caffeine Update was a huge change. But that was also a change mostly meant to help Google better gather information (indexing) rather than sorting through the information. Google search chief Amit Singhal told me that perhaps 2001, when he first joined the company, was the last time the algorithm was so dramatically rewritten. What about all these Penguin, Panda and other updates havent those been changes to the algorithm? Panda, Penguin and other updates were changes to parts of the old algorithm, but not an entire replacement of the whole. Think of it again like an engine. Those things were as if the engine received a new oil filter or had an improved pump put in. Hummingbird is a brand new engine, though it continues to use some of the same parts of the old, like Penguin and Panda The new engine is using old parts? Yes. And no. Some of the parts are perfectly good, so there was no reason to toss them out. Other parts are constantly being replaced. In general, Hummingbird Google says is a new engine built on both existing and new parts, organized in a way to especially serve the search demands of today, rather than one created for the needs of ten years ago, with the technologies back then. What type of new search activity does Hummingbird help? Conversational search is one of the biggest examples Google gave. People, when speaking searches, may find it more useful to have a conversation. Whats the closest place to buy the iPhone 5s to my home? A traditional search engine might focus on finding matches for words finding a page that says buy and iPhone 5s, for example. Hummingbird should better focus on the meaning behind the words. It may better understand the actual location of your home, if youve shared that with Google. It might understand that place means you want a brick-and-mortar store. It might get that iPhone 5s is a particular type of electronic device carried by certain stores. Knowing all these meanings may help Google go beyond just finding pages with matching words. In particular, Google said that Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query the whole sentence or conversation or meaning is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words. I thought Google did this conversational search stuff already!

It does (see Googles Impressive Conversational Search Goes Live On Chrome), but it had only been doing it really within its Knowledge Graph answers. Hummingbird is designed to apply the meaning technology to billions of pages from across the web, in addition to Knowledge Graph facts, which may bring back better results. Does it really work? Any before-and-afters? We dont know. Theres no way to do a before-and-after ourselves, now. Pretty much, we only have Googles word that Hummingbird is improving things. However, Google did offer some before-and-after examples of its own, that it says shows Hummingbird improvements. A search for acid reflux prescription used to list a lot of drugs (such as this, Google said), which might not be necessarily be the best way to treat the disease. Now, Google says results have information about treatment in general, including whether you even need drugs, such as this as one of the listings. A search for pay your bills through citizens bank and trust bank used to bring up the home page for Citizens Bank but now should return the specific page about paying bills A search for pizza hut calories per slice used to list an answer like this, Google said, but not one from Pizza Hut. Now, it lists this answer directly from Pizza Hut itself, Google says. Could it be making Google worse? Almost certainly not. While we cant say that Googles gotten better, we do know that Hummingbird if it has indeed been used for the past month hasnt sparked any wave of consumers complaining that Googles results suddenly got bad. People complain when things get worse; they generally dont notice when things improve. Does this mean SEO is dead? No, SEO is not yet again dead. In fact, Googles saying theres nothing new or different SEOs or publishers need to worry about. Guidance remains the same, it says: have original, high-quality content. Signals that have been important in the past remain important; Hummingbird just allows Google to process them in new and hopefully better ways. Does this mean Im going to lose traffic from Google? If you havent in the past month, well, you came through Hummingbird unscathed. After all, it went live about a month ago. If you were going to have problems with it, you would have known by now. By and large, theres been no major outcry among publishers that theyve lost rankings. This seems to support Google saying this is very much a query-by-query effect, one that may improve particular searches particularly complex ones rather than something that hits head terms that can, in turn, cause major traffic shifts.

But I did lose traffic! Perhaps it was due to Hummingbird, but Google stressed that it could also be due to some of the other parts of its algorithm, which are always being changed, tweaked or improved. Theres no way to know. How do you know all this stuff? Google shared some of it at its press event today, and then I talked with two of Googles top search execs, Amit Singhal and Ben Gomes, after the event for more details. I also hope to do a more formal look at the changes from those conversations in the near future. But for now, hopefully youve found this quick FAQ based on those conversations to be helpful. By the way, another term for the meaning connections that Hummingbird does is entity search, and we have an entire panel on that at our SMX East search marketing show in New York City, next week. The Coming Entity Search Revolution session is part of an entire Semantic Search track that also gets into ways search engines are discovering meanings behind words. Learn more about the track and the entire show on the agenda page.

Blog Post Two

Source: What Google 'Hummingbird' Means for Your SEO Strategy If the idea that SEO is dead crosses your mind or turns up in print, dismiss it. The fact is that nothing is really going to change in the way that we pursue the almighty ranking, with the possible exception of the resurgence of the long tail keyword, which was working its way back into our hearts anyway. Everything that worked before Hummingbirds release will still work moving forward. This includes:

Original and engaging content is still king Legitimate back links that are earned using proper SEO are still important The same signals that worked before will continue to garner results Keywords will still need to be carefully placed and used in moderation

The only thing that is really going to change in a meaningful enough way to be noticeable is the way Googles new algorithm interprets the way we search.

Hummingbird Breaks Old Search Habits

Currently, we type our question into the search engine and the algorithm chooses words from it, often sending us on a wild goose chase by bringing up links that have those specific words in them rather than finding links that relate to the context of the overall query. In essence, Google has trained an entire generation of search engine users to pose questions in short keyword phrases that had little to do with what we wanted. Instead, we tried to guess where Google would take us and hope for the best. They taught us trial and error searching. Keep in mind, search engines are the ONLY web properties with a goal to have their users spend as little time as possible on their website.

A Glean of Hummingbird Intelligence

With all of the intelligent changes Panda and Penguin brought to the table, it was only a matter of time before one of Googles big brained developers found a way to smarten search engines up enough to take a question and look at the context rather than seeing the words within the query as separate entities. What does this mean for us? With any luck, it means that the Hummingbird is smarter than your average Panda.

So What is Hummingbird?

The Hummingbird is an entirely new algorithm. It approaches search engine queries in a brand new and intelligent way utilizing new technology combined with older features of the existing algorithms. It is named for the speed and accuracy of the tiny bird.

The Resurgence of Long Tailed Keywords

The Hummingbird is what Google is calling the latest (greatest?) algorithm that they slipped in under our radar in August. If the rumors are true, the Hummingbird will take a search engine query using long-tailed keywords and try to decipher the context of the question rather than chase the specific keywords within the question. The goal is to provide results that actually answer the question

The Knowledge Graph

When you think about it, an algorithm that looks for context within a question was inevitable. Google has been up and running for 15 years (as of September), and in that time it has been collecting what could very well be the largest database of knowledge ever recorded. In theory, the Knowledge Base has collected data for only a short while; however, most people believe differently. To this very moment, knowledge is being gathered, categorized, crossreferenced thousands upon thousands of ways, and stored. This vast well of knowledge is available to the Hummingbird. With such a Knowledge Graph, was it not inevitable that Google would eventually find a way to utilize this information with an algorithm that deciphers the context of all the words in a query rather than homing in on a few key words therein? This is exactly what Hummingbird is designed to do.

Was Hummingbird Really A Surprise?

This new algorithm may have surprised the majority, but many people saw it coming. These are the people who use Googles Conversational Search. The reason so many were caught off guard by Hummingbird is that very few paid that much attention when Conversational Search was rolled out nearly two years ago. For those who do not know about Conversational Search, which is most of us, here is what you missed, which may have been the biggest hint to date that Google was close to cracking semantic search.

Conversational Search
Users of Google Chrome may have noticed a small microphone icon in the right hand corner of Googles search box (now on Google search as well). If the user clicks on that microphone (and has configured their computer for it) they may ask aloud the question they would have typed into the search box. The question is then displayed on the search screen, along with the results.

If the answer to the query is in Googles Knowledge Graph, an Information Card is displayed with the pertinent facts listed along with a list of sites you may visit with more information and hopefully, the answer to your question. What users of Google Speak have come to realize is that the more conversational the query, the more information is provided. Did I mention the fact that Google speaks the answer back to you? Pretty cool, huh?

Why did Google Create Hummingbird?

Here are three reasons why Google had to create Hummingbird, and why it now has to perfect it:
1. The ball is already rolling. 2. Google promised answers by creating its very first search engine. The problem is, people are asking questions, not typing in keywords. 3. More and more people are using their mobile devices to search. Google knows how important it is to understand a question, especially when you are driving. Comprehension is not new. It is just refined.

Technology Marches On
Google promised to answer our queries when it created the first algorithm that could answer them in the form of leading us to the answers. It takes this promise very seriously. In all, it has addressed the issue rather admirably. Of course, in providing the websites that hold the answers, it created its own worst problem in how to rank them. The other problem is in the questions. We have always asked questions and up until now, Google has not answered any of them. It merely shows us where we might get the answers based on some of the words we use and making a guess. Now, Google wants to answer the questions by comprehending them and giving us the right answer the first time out.


Now for the Bad News

There is an aspect of Hummingbird about which no one is really talking. As searchers, we expect Googles search engine to supply a results page with links to the best websites to answer our questions according to their rank. As websites, we expect to compete for those ranks by using SEO and providing interesting content with what we hope are interesting and thorough answers. What we do not expect is the answer to the questions appearing to the searcher before we get a chance to impress them with our hard work. That Darn Traffic Stealing Information Card Hummingbird is supposed to answer the search question. It does this by giving us an answer in the form of an Information Card taken from its Knowledge Graph and displaying it right at the top of the results page either above or to the right (sometimes both). While this is new and exciting, it is also a clear message by Google that it does not owe us anything. This uses our intellectual property without the responsibility Hmmm, food for thought. It also begs the question of how our CRO and CTR will be affected when this is widely spread. Lets say you want to know if our president has brothers or sisters. There are plenty of websites that want you to visit them for that information. They work hard, play by the rules, and often, pay an arm and a leg to SEO firms. However, if you type in the question Does Barrack Obama have brothers and sisters (Hummingbird in action), here is what you will find at the top and side of the results page. (In Google Chrome): (More information can be found at link in sources above)


Blog Post Three

Source: Google Hummingbird: Where No Search Has Gone Before Google has made several major changes to its search engine over the past several months. Search geeks have been debating (and complaining about) Enhanced Campaigns, the new look for mobile search results, Penguin 2.1, and several other technical updates but the average Google user probably hasnt noticed much of a difference. And thats exactly what Google wants. The most recent update was announced just recently during Googles 15th birthday celebration. Nicknamed Hummingbird, it represents the biggest change to Google search since 2001. Its not just a tweak to the search functionality Hummingbird is a completely new search algorithm that affects 90 percent of all searches. The most interesting part is that Hummingbird actually launched a month before the announcement and no one noticed. Once again, thats exactly what Google wants. Google has updated its search algorithm many times over the past few years, but previous updates were focused on making Google better at gathering information for example, indexing websites more often and identifying spammy content. Hummingbird is focused on the user. Its about Google getting better at understanding what searchers really want and providing them with better answers. The biggest improvements involve longer search queries. Rather than just examining each individual word in a search, Google is now examining the searchers query as a whole and processing the meaning behind it. Previously, Google (and most other search engines) used more of a brute force approach of looking at the individual words in a search and returning results that matched those words individually and as a whole. Now Google is focusing on context and trying to understand users intent in order to deliver more relevant results and better answers. Google has made search more human friendly by making Google better at understanding language and how people communicate. Most people wont notice a huge change in the search results, but for longer, more complex, conversational queries, Google now gives much better answers. For example, say a user searches for Hair salons near my house. Previously, Google would analyze each word individually and provide results based on that so you might get a Wikipedia article about hair salons, some map results based on your current location, and home improvement websites with pages titled my house. With Hummingbird, Google better understands what youre asking for, and displays a list of hair salons near your house (provided youre signed in to Google and have provided them with a home address in Google Maps). The results match the meaning behind the search, rather than just individual words.

Mobile searches are a very significant driving force behind this change. When users search on their smartphones, queries tend to be shorter users dont type as many words as when theyre using a full-size keyboard. But that trend reverses when voice search is used. Voice search queries tend to be longer, more complex, and more conversational. As we edge into the era of wearable tech, Google is making sure they are ready to provide the best voice search experience around. Signed in users will be the biggest benefactors of these improvements, and this is the best example to date of Google tying all the information it has about its users together to improve their experience. In addition to the search query, additional information is pulled in from the users location (and saved locations), social connections (on G+), time of day, even previous searches. Examples of previous search data take us back to voice search, and Google Glass. Google can now understand continuity in sequential searches the oft-cited example is a Glass user asking, When was the Eiffel Tower Built? followed by, How tall is it? Googles Knowledge Graph, its encyclopedia of 570 million unique concepts and the relations among them, helps power these kinds of interactions. Ultimately, this is the driving force behind Hummingbird making sure Google is prepared for a future where its users interact with it constantly, quickly, and verbally. By making its search engine better at understanding people, Google is paving the way for the future. Before too long the idea of typing a search on a keyboard will seem very quaint indeed.