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The Importance of Writing How You Search: SEO and Google Hummingbird

The Importance of Writing How You Search: SEO and Google Hummingbird

New Google Algorithm Is Good News for Press Release Distribution

By Adam Lovinus, Senior Editor, Marketwired

In the months following the September 26, 2013 launch of the new Google Hummingbird search algorithm, we find that many of the SEO strategies we’ve emphasized in the past are still very much solid strategies.  Let’s take a moment to expand these concepts to address the changing rules of Google search, and point out three things to remember when optimizing SEO for your Marketwired press release.

1.) Search engines are just like journalists. Both are unlikely to look past the headline, and even more unlikely to read past first 100 words.

The long-standing best practice for writing a Google-friendly release — plug keywords (search terms) into the headline, sub-headline, multimedia captions, and opening sentences of a release — remains the #1 SEO tip.  The Schema markup language coded into these specific areas of Marketwired’s pages acts as a lightning rod for search engines scanning for relevant results. Like its predecessors, Hummingbird tends to ignore invisible text and embedded hyperlinks when determining page rank, so this makes strategic keyword placement all the more critical.

2.) Forget Keywords. Think Key Phrases.

Before Hummingbird, Google algorithms calculated the keywords a user entered into the search bar without any mathematical consideration of the contextual relationship that may exist among them. Hummingbird changes that approach.  The new algorithm scans for phrases more so than individual words. Google programmers took into account the way users typically search online, specifically the conversational nature of the search.

Think about your own Google searches and how precise the information is for which you’re looking. For example, if you’re looking for content about the Best PR Distribution Service, you’d probably search that exact phrase. The top result for that search is an article with that exact combination of words in the headline. Not an accident.

Modern SEO best practice strives to ensure that the people searching for your news find it. The idea of driving traffic to your news release by tricking a search engine is racing toward obsolescence. Quality SEO means crafting your news in a way that the people who are looking for your news can find it.

3.) Write How You Would Search

Remember how in PR Writing 101 you learned to write the way you speak? This is the same idea — when writing a headline, consider the main thrust of your news release, and think about how you’d Google search to find that news.  Say your client, SaaSy Solutions, hired Bob Conway as CTO. Consider writing your headline using phrases like “new CTO at SaaSy” or “SaaSy new CTO,” or something else specific to the hiring, like, say, if Bob’s first task is to launch the new SaaSyCloud product. Here you might add “SaaSy Cloud Launch” and “Global SaaS Adoption Trends” to drive search engine traffic pertaining to the product; the latter phrase is an example of how you’d make this news relevant to inquiries about the SaaS industry in general.

Put it together, and you get:

     New SaaSy CTO Bob Conway Identifies Global SaaS Adoption Trends

     Positions SaaSy Solutions as a Global Industry Leader with Worldwide Launch of SaaSyCloud

Voila. A catchy headline that targets people who are searching for news about SaaSy’s hiring of Bob Conway, its new product line, or a trend in the industry.

Google’s new SEO rules make it simpler to properly employ keywords in press material by utilizing the natural, linguistic link between PR content and the people looking for it. It urges writers to keep their copy on point with the concepts they’re communicating — always a good idea when crafting PR content.

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