As communications professionals we need to understand a lot more than just how to communicate. If you’re like me, this can often seem daunting. Sometimes it seems as though just when you figure out a social network, or other online tool everything changes. Yet we are expected to be experts and explain things to our clients or senior management.

So, Google has changed their algorithm as part of a project dubbed “hummingbird” (hence the picture) and this affects your organization’s search results. After reading several articles, here are some takeaways:

  • It is a new “engine” but there’s not a lot of information yet on what that really means. In fact it’s the first new engine in 10 years.
  • Quality information on the Web will still rank highly in searches. The idea is that the new algorithm will (somehow) be able to know that.
  • Don’t put too many links in your releases and other social media posts. It makes them look spammy and Google knows it.
  • They’re trying to make Google more searchable by voice…as in Siri.
  • Think of how people might find you by asking a question. That’s how the new Google search will work
  • If you want to make sure your site ranks highly in searches, always write about your most important key word.
  • It’s too early to see what’s happening to individual websites.
  • The changes will force us to write better, and more important work.

On thing that’s clear is  there will be a lot more written about this as time goes on. Some articles I’ve found interesting, and helpful:

Most Important Thing to Know about the Google Hummingbird Algorithm Change

Hummingbird Update: What it Means for PR Pros from Gini Dietrich

Apokrisis offers: Adapting to Keyword not provided

Google’s chief economist understands media better than some industry executives do

BusinessWire’s “best practices” for press releases based on the changes

Jay Baer has a great post: How Google is forcing your content to get better

Understand More About Google Analytics

If you think you might need a crash course in Google Analytics (part and parcel with Google search) consider this online class my friend Kristen, head of Apokrisis, told me about. I’m probably going to take it so if you’d like to as well, let me know and we can learn together.

Photo: Kim Marie Carter via Flickr, CC 2.0