How Hummingbird & (Not Provided) Keyword Data Affect SEO


With individual keyword data no longer being provided and ‘conversational search’ the focus of Hummingbird, how is SEO adapting?

After every Google announcement the common catch-cry “is SEO dead?” is echoed across the press and social media. But every time SEO companies have found a way to adapt.

With Google having almost completely turned out the lights on keyword traffic data in Analytics and the Hummingbird algorithm re-write adapting has become harder, but not impossible. We’ve discussed what the Hummingbird update has meant for users in our previous article. So where is SEO going from here?

(Not Provided) Data, Keywords and SEO

SEO has always previously aimed to optimise websites for keywords, using keywords, to get rankings and to get traffic from those keywords.

Not Provided data has drastically changed the way we view keywords and success. Yes, there’s always the approach of: ‘if I target everything, rank for everything and then surely there will be some successes, but that’s just an ‘old school’ way of thinking ramped up on panic and desperation.

In the end it will fail because you’ll have no way to really measure which of your efforts are successful, a clumsy site and a link profile stretched so thin your marketing message will simply be lost.

Apologies, we’ve run out of stock imagery of hummingbirds.

How does Hummingbird’s ‘conversational search’ fit in to the not provided data equation?

‘Keywords’ in the traditional sense are dead. Hummingbird makes it possible to rank for keywords without even using the particular phrases on-page.

‘Conversational search’ is more about how you answer the search queries and questions with your content rather than just stuffing content full of different phrases that match.

Relevant information is vital, thinking about what your customers are really looking for and giving them that information.

Keywords will probably still feature in content, but it will be natural occurrences rather than deliberately constructing a sentence to make it fit in.

Search Engine Optimisation now must really focus on the products and services on targeted pages – it’s about your business message and what you’re able to provide.

So how is SEO adapting to the changes?

At we’re moving away from choosing keywords, getting rankings for those keywords and then giving you results. Our SEO is evolving to look at your business as a whole, the profitable and growth areas, your goals, and individual pages on your site.

By looking an individual category on a page we’re then able to choose a group of keywords that are directly relevant to the page. We’re creating individual solutions and strategies around business, looking at pages ranking overall and groups of keywords rather than having such a narrow-minded individual keyword view.

By really concentrating on individual categories and opportunities within your business we’re providing relevant conversational content and using keywords that are naturally associated with your products and services.

By shifting our Search Engine Optimisation strategies away from keywords and on to your business we’re creating more relevant results and improving the chances of success.


Speak to an Expert to learn more.

*This blog first appeared on October 28, 2013. It has since been updated.


Related Articles

  1. Hummingbird for Dummies: What Does It Mean for My Business?
  2. SEO & Keyword Targeting in 2015
  3. How Can I Handle (Not Provided) Keyword Data in Analytics?


Other Resources

  1. Search Engine Land – Google Hummingbird & The Keyword: What You Need To Know To Stay Ahead
  2. Search Engine Land – Keyword Research After The Keyword Tool, (Not Provided) & Hummingbird Apocalypse
  3. Kiss Metrics – Should You Change Your SEO Strategy Because of Google Hummingbird?


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