Jim Stewart

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Google announces Hummingbird search update: How will your SEO rank be impacted?

10:50AM | Tuesday, 1 October

Google has unleashed yet another of its algorithm updates on the world, but don’t stress out about preparing for the changes – they’ve already arrived.   Yesterday Google announced the latest algorithm update, Hummingbird, at a press conference located in the garage where founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page first started the search engine back in the 1990s.   The Hummingbird update will affect 90% of searches, and is designed to better answer specific questions. Google senior vice president Amit Singhal said the algorithm – which powers the entire system of how Google ranks and judges content – has undergone a “fundamental rethinking”.   Various reports from those at the event say Google described the update as helping quickly answer full questions, as opposed to the current system of searching for long phrases by individual words.   “We’ll keep improving Google Search so it does a little bit more of the hard work for you,” the company said in a blog post. “This means giving you the best possible answers, making it easy to have a conversation and helping out before you even have to ask.”   No further details have been given.   But Jim Stewart, head of StewArt Media, says the algorithm might go further than just helping answer questions. Lately, he’s noticed his clients have seen improvements in the way their content has been ranked – particularly if it’s of good quality.   “Our clients that have sites that were updating regularly with content like blogs and so on were getting rewarded across different keywords,” he says.   “We’re not monitoring long phrases or questions, but that content seems to have been rewarded if you have a good strategy.”   While Stewart says he can’t say for sure whether these improvements have come as part of the Hummingbird update, it’s not unusual for an upgrade to hit more than one specific feature of search at once.   For businesses, this means the solution is the same as it has been for years – create good, fresh and original content, updated on a daily basis. The more it’s shared among users, the more likely your results will appear on the first page.   “The top results aren’t as cluttered with backlinks now, so maybe this has something to do with that change.   “The algorithm update may have inadvertently been favouring these sorts of sites.”   This story first appeared on SmartCompany.

SEO update time as Google rankings shift, expert warns

5:03AM | Wednesday, 8 May

Australian businesses have been warned to give their search engine strategies another tune-up, with rankings for several popular keywords having undergone some curious shifts in the past few days.   The change could be another one of Google's algorithm updates, which affect how businesses rank whenever people search for particular keywords.   Google was contacted this morning by SmartCompany, but referred to the Google Webmaster blog where no specific mention of any update has been announced.   Jim Stewart, chief executive of StewArt Media, told SmartCompany he monitored several changes to clients' rankings on Friday afternoon, after first noticing some changes to the Google Places page.   "Last week we noticed a missing drop-down menu in Google, where you could click on 'places' in a Google search. That disappeared on Wednesday."   The 'places' category allows users to locate nearby businesses which have some sort of relevancy to the keyword used in a search.   "Now we've noticed a whole bunch of clients' rankings for single words have changed. We've seen a similar experience across a number of clients."   The keyword 'flowers', for example, delivered significantly different results from just 24 hours previously, Stewart noted. The keyword 'lighting' also saw changes, with some businesses dropped out of the first page altogether.   "It looks like Google is changing its Places regime, and at the same time, it appears to be doing some updating with regard to sites with dodgy backlinks."   The common factor seems to be location, Stewart says. Those business websites which mention specific cities and other locations are more likely to be ranked even higher in the current update – although Stewart emphasises without Google clarification, it's difficult to say what exactly is being given priority.   "It could be ranked by Google Place listings themselves, so for that you'd have to update your information. We could see this emerge more over the next few days."   Stewart says, nevertheless, companies need to be mindful of the location data on their websites. Those pages which specifically feature location data are more likely to be ranked higher.   "If you don't have an address on your website, you probably want to get to that pretty quick, and for wherever you have an office as well."   This story first appeared on SmartCompany.

Changes to Google AdWords "a big win" for start-ups

3:56AM | Friday, 15 March

Google today announced big changes to its AdWords money-making machine in a move which experts say will be a boon to small business.

Twitter's new video service: How Vine can help your business

3:24AM | Monday, 11 March

Small businesses are being tipped to keep an eye on Twitter's new video service, which allows users to film up to six seconds of video and post it to their social feeds without the use of a third-party uploading service like YouTube.

Google Zeitgeist reveals what we searched for in 2012

3:34AM | Monday, 11 March

UK retailer ASOS was as the most searched fashion brand in Australia this year, according to Google’s latest Zeitgeist report, while Sydney-based retailer The Iconic was fifth on the list.

Start-ups urged to use YouTube analytics update

3:47AM | Tuesday, 12 March

Google has released more analytics features for YouTube that will allow webmasters to get a better understanding of how they can use video to better connect with their customers, and create more engaging content.

Google’s Knowledge Graph launches in Australia: Minimal change for business SEO

8:52AM | Friday, 10 August

An SEO expert says businesses don’t need to be too concerned about Google’s latest upgrade, which will see its new “knowledge graph” features implemented in English-speaking countries.

Google introduces system for employers to physically track workers

6:51AM | Friday, 22 June

Google's Australian office has been responsible for some of the company's key innovations, and now it's delivered another update – a new app that allows employers to track their employees through Google Maps.

Google announces rollout of Google+ Local, featuring Zagat

6:26AM | Friday, 1 June

Google has announced the rollout of a new feature called Google+ Local, allowing users to discover and share local information, including scores from restaurant review site Zagat.

Google releases list of top searches, SMEs urged to stay on top of current events

3:24AM | Saturday, 24 March

Internet giant Google has released some of the most popular search terms of 2011, and Australian businesses are being warned to pay attention – they could hold the secret to gaining your website a little more traffic.

Yahoo!7 search trends highlight opportunities for SMEs

11:01AM | Tuesday, 29 November

Businesses that create content based on popular search terms must ensure they have a relevant tie-in, an expert advises, after Yahoo!7 released its search trend data for 2011.

Google+ open for business

11:34AM | Tuesday, 8 November

Google has opened its social network Google+ to businesses and brands, allowing companies to create their own pages, but the move has received a mixed reaction from industry experts.

Google Adwords upgrade a wake-up for start-ups

10:44AM | Tuesday, 4 October

Start-ups that advertise with Google AdWords can now integrate new social and mobile features after the tech giant unveiled a range of new upgrades for search ads.

Google+ opens registration to the public as Facebook responds with innovations of its own

9:24AM | Thursday, 22 September

Entrepreneurs are being urged to jump on Google+ after the internet giant finally allowed all members of the public to sign up this week, prompting immediate comparisons with market leader Facebook, which has responded to the new threat by introducing innovations of its own.

Twitter trends have lessons for small firms

12:46AM | Tuesday, 14 December

Small businesses are being urged to study Twitter’s top trending topics for 2010 in order to contribute to conversations and build their profile.

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