When Google rolled out its new Hummingbird algorithm last month, most SEOs weren’t quite sure what to make of it. After all, Panda and Penguin were so disruptive, why should Hummingbird be any different?

Hummingbird didn’t wind up having much of an impact on web publishers but, according to a recent article on SearchEngineLand.com by Eric Enge titled, What Everyone is Missing About Hummingbird,  this little bird is just getting ready to fly.

Hummingbird, in Enge’s eyes, represents a major breakthrough in how Google uses social signals to establish PageRank. In fact he even suggests that social signals (Facebook likes, Twitter re-Tweets and Google + shares) may wind up replacing links as one of the primary ranking factors, though the technology still has a bit of improving to do before it’s ready to take on that challenge.

It’s worth noting that no one is suggesting that Google will be blindly accepting social shares as the new coin of the SEO realm. In Enge’s view, Google will be applying some very robust quality and relevancy standards to Hummingbird-era social signals.

After all, a re-Tweet or +1 requires a fraction of the effort that linking required (which is still a pretty low standard).

Hummingbird’s impact on social signals is good news for casino affiliates who have been devoting their scarce resources to building up quality content and an active presence on social media.

If these smaller publishers can establish their authority within a given niche – whether it’s real-money cricket wagering or live dealer roulette – they’ll be well prepared to compete with igaming’s big boys.

Enge’s opinions on Hummingbird are not endorsed by Google, but they carry some serious weight in the SEO world and should not be taken lightly. In short, now might be a good time to start shifting your resources away from traditional link-building and more towards garnering social shares.

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