SMX West 2014 Keynote: Conversation with Google Search Chief Amit Singhal

Published: Mar 24, 2014
SMX West 2014 Keynote: Conversation with Google Search Chief Amit Singhal

Pining to know more about the Google Hummingbird update? This was the main topic addressed during the March 11, 2014 SMX West Keynote featuring Google’s Amit Singhal, and moderated by Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan.

It is fairly common knowledge that Hummingbird is a complete rewrite of the Google search system, or in Singhal’s words a way of, “…understanding things, not strings.

With a complex ranking system that already takes into account 200+ signals in a fraction of a second, what does this mean for business owners?

  • 20140311_170737(1)Links are important but at end of the day Google is looking at the holistic experience, and giving users what they want. Is your site easy to navigate?
  • Authorship will continue to grow in importance as users look for high quality content generated by reputable people.
  • The Knowledge Graph is getting smarter and continues to advance in differentiating between things, meaning and relevancy. It is more about understanding long query pieces of text then ever.
  • Social signals – Singhal claims Google is not using Twitter and Facebook or any social platform in determining search ranking. When Sullivan dug a little deeper into this statement Singhal did share he is open to using social signals as a determining ranking in the future.
  • As the world becomes increasingly mobile, search will continue to change and adapt to this trend. Again, “giving users what they want.”

Key takeaways:

  • “Good SEO is all about change,” said Singhal. Adaptability will continue to be key as algorithms continue to get smarter.
  • We must continue to be aware of the mobile revolution and adjust strategies to align with the growing power of devices.
  • Singhal stated, “What you observe of your competition today can change…build a product which customers will love.”

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Contributed by:
Leslie Perryman, Social Media Team Lead

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