Hummingbird is in full swing, SEOs are freaking out, websites are either shining or sinking, and marketing foci is shifting yet again for 2014. We’ve been in the industry for a bit, so we tend to talk to other SEOs in other industries (legal, retail, occasionally those in adult. Hey, they’re extremely competitive) and discuss the matters. Some is speculation, some is the beginning of trial and error, and some is just off the deep end ideas that could transpire into something novel. But the two items we will be talking about are the following: content age, and robot crawl navigation. Let’s get to it.
This mostly applies to website that have been around for a while (maybe 5+ years in this situation) and some of the first pages. Let’s say you have some pages, or articles, on your website that really only apply to that time period. Like clothing styles, food fads, state legislation…you get it. Some of these pages are essentially outdated, irrelevant, and possibly shouldn’t belong on your website anymore. What if you have a 100+ page website where 50 of your pages haven’t been “refreshed” in a few years. Is it possible that Google is sophisticated to be able to deem your entire website irrelevant if half the content is outdated? Who is to know. But this is possible. Search engine robots have been tweaked for years, servers are able to hold 10’s of thousands of terabytes of information – who can say that search engines know that you content has been stagnant for a while?
Now a basis of this information – we’ve seen many websites sort of just “pop up” for keywords that the bigger guys have been dominating for years. Brand new websites are fresh content, competing with content that may have been deemed old and less important at this point. We sure are working on seeing if this is true, but even if it isn’t, updating your website’s content for present day certainly can never hurt.
Robot Crawl Navigation
When a search engine robot gets to your site, it crawls top to bottom. We’ve talked to some experts in this matter and many agree that the first pages crawled should be your most important and prominent. We agree. So does your top navigation have too many links that aren’t as important, leaving the possibility that your other more important pages, positioned in a much deeper section of your site, may seldom get noticed?
I talked to a guy that called this “siloing” the site. This likely also works for the actual humans coming to your site in the long run too. Essentially, it is the process of taking a look at what links come first in your site, removing many that may not be necessary, and moving the links you’d like to see scanned first to the forefront. Again, partially speculation, but the logic is completely there. Many websites have “fly overs” and “dropdowns” with tons and tons of links that really don’t have to be there. Consider this a way of cleaning up your site for easier usability for both search engines and potential clients and visitors. What do you think?
So What’s Next?
Well, we’re doing some interesting research and working on different projects, so there will always be new developments. But these are some good points to think about, evaluate, and draw your own conclusions with. Remember, when an update like Hummingbird comes around, it is an opportunity to position yourself very favorably against competitors that may have dominated for a long time. Consider this your opportunity!