The question on almost every SEO’s lips right now is whether or not Hummingbird will drastically affect link-building strategies. At this point, it’s still difficult to determine how great an impact Hummingbird has on links. However, by examining the things that we do know about the Hummingbird update, it’s possible to identify some of the possible ramifications for link-building strategies and then begin to adjust those approaches to fit with the new algorithm.
Since the main shift with the Hummingbird update seems to be towards natural language, the impact on link building seems to mostly be related to other tools in your SEO arsenal. In my opinion, Hummingbird’s impact on link building is primarily related to how you approach authority and what kind of content you produce.
Concentrate on Authority
We all know that authority is important, but with Hummingbird’s ability to more easily answer questions directly, authority is even more important for link building. If a searcher doesn’t have to leave Google, they’re even less likely to click on your link, recognize the value of your content, and share it.
The beauty of authority is that it can create a symbiotic relationship with your linking strategy in order to drum up more interest in your site. As your authority grows, you rise in the rankings and subsequently gain more links. As you gain more links, you acquire even greater authority. Links and authority complement each other perfectly. Use Google Authorship with everything you publish to make sure that it has maximum authority.
Focus on Quality Content
As always, high quality content is an essential element in your link building strategy. However, with the release of Hummingbird, you might want to consider reworking some of your content in order to gain more links in relation to complex questions. Now, don’t go change all of your content into a question and answer format, but consider finding ways to work a few more questions with specific answers into your site.
Above all, make sure to adjust your linking strategy to avoid any tricks. You’re never going to successfully trick Google for long, and it isn’t worth the risk of incurring a costly penalty. Even if you discover a trick that works with the current algorithm, Google will undoubtedly release an update eventually that addresses that hole. And remember, Google wasn’t born yesterday – this update absolutely includes tools to identify and destroy as many tricks as Google can imagine.
Finally, remember that high quality link building tactics need no adjustment with this update. If you continue to focus on gaining links from relevant, reputable sources, you shouldn’t have any problems from Hummingbird.
How are you adjusting your link building strategy in the wake of Hummingbird?
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