Google over the past few years has been updating its search algorithm, first they released a Panda update and later the Penguin update. In both the cases there were few changes made to the old algorithm and not the complete algorithm. However with Hummingbird, Google has radically changed the basic algorithm. This complete change in algorithm has forced top SEO agencies to rethink their strategies. Local SEO is the worst hit among all SEO services, only very few local SEO companies which adapted to the new algorithm are successful today.
“Conversational search” is one of the biggest changes in Hummingbird algorithm. Google can now understand a complete conversation. For instance when analyzing a query like “What’s the nearest place to buy a nexus phone?” the old algorithm will give importance to the words “buy” and “nexus” and will look for webpages with these words. However Hummingbird will focus on all the words and will understand the complete sentence before returning results.
The Hummingbird algorithm has over 200 other parameters to decide on the best possible result. The page rank of the backlinks are still relevant but relatively less important, local SEO depending on local web directories are badly hit. In a way conventional local SEO is dead. Google also has moved beyond the original Knowledge Graph answers and the conventional usage of n-grams.
The main reason for this is the rapid increase in the usage of voice search where people are asking their phones complex questions instead of typing in simple searches. Hence it is very important for small and mid-sized organizations to look beyond the conventional local SEO companies. What companies need today is a comprehensive local internet marketing solution. Relying solely on pay per click advertisements or organic Google search results are not viable any more.
Many prominent SEO experts are reporting a drop in their ranking and are accusing Google of killing SEO. However you don’t have to accuse Google if you are not in to any Spam black hat techniques. Sadly most local SEO companies use obsolete link building strategies and can harm your business.
A top rated local internet marketing company will not only focus on local SEO, but also on add on things like social media, pay per click, print design, web design, graphic design, conversion optimization and so on. The best example would be Internet Marketing Atlanta, they provide all the services required for better internet marketing success. Uni-dimensional approach will not work anymore, forget the conventional local SEO agencies and look out for those comprehensive internet marketing consultancies.