Google’s latest Hummingbird update sent the SEO world into yet another panic. “SEO is dead!” everyone cried. Time to pack up your bags and go home. When you consider the fact that this was the biggest algorithm change since 2001, it’s easy to make that assumption. Rather than rely on speculation, let’s just get down to the nitty gritty.

SEO is NOT Dead!

SEO is not dead – yet. Google has reassured publishers and SEOs that there’s nothing they need to change. In fact, Google’s guidelines remain the same: produce high quality, valuable content that readers will enjoy. So if SEO isn’t dead, what exactly is all the fuss about? 

Google’s Hummingbird is All About Improving Answers

The goal of this new update was to improve the way Google answers long, complex questions asked by searchers. As you know, the search engine is always looking for new ways to improve the user’s experience. This is just one more step towards a smarter and faster search engine.

Rather than analyzing a search query word-by-word, Hummingbird attempts to look at the query as a whole and produce a set of results that will best answer the user’s question. This update is one that was rolled out months before its announcement, which further discredits the notion that Hummingbird is the death of SEO.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Many businesses, SEOs and Internet marketers have seen some major ups and downs over the last few years. Google has made a number of changes to their algorithm that have, indeed, affected many people’s rankings in a negative way. For many, it was a major wake up call. Using “spammy” techniques to game your way to the top is no longer an option. What it takes is some good old fashioned hard work.

Ultimately, it all comes down to is the value of the content on your website or blog. What are you offering your visitors? For businesses in particular, this remains as a key factor in their success. Pages with little to no substance or content will be devalued and pushed down to the bottom of the results. Even when crafting guest posts to network and gain new links, it is important to remain focused on your audience and offer them something that is worth sharing. It really is quite simple when you stop and think about it. If you choose to stick to these simple rules, your site will withstand any algorithm updates Google throws at you.