What Is Hummingbird, and Why Won’t You Pay?
After we posted last week about inserting links from old posts, Niki got in touch to ask….
I had an email from a PR company asking me if I would be happy to include links to a particular retailer in an old post (your recent post regarding this was super useful – thanks!) but when I asked how much they would pay for such links and referrals through my blog, they replied saying that in response to Google’s recent “Hummingbird” update, they don’t offer financial compensation for content or links and that if they did, Google might penalise both of us.
What is the “Hummingbird” update and is this true that Google can penalise both parties? Or is it just a way of saying they don’t want to pay?? I’m a tad confused!
First: what is Hummingbird? Every time Google updates its methods of calculating a web pages search ranking, they give it a name – the current algorithm in place is called Hummingbird, and was announced on Google’s 15th birthday (September 26th,2013) although had been in use for at least a month before.
Hummingbird is more focused on natural language – so if you type into Google “Give me some pictures of cake”, Google will fetch back a page of deliciousness.
Hummingbird is a great update for those blogs that produce interesting, informative and useful content, because that’s what a searcher wants to read!
So what’s the relevance between not paying links and Hummingbird? Mostly? It’s an excuse. That SEO person isn’t interested in your blog for your witty writing and beautiful photos. (*sob*!) They’re only interested in how you can benefit their clients. They don’t want their clients to be affected by any de-ranking that Google may do (it happens!) but what they don’t seem to have realised is that there isn’t really much difference between not paying for a link, and not disclosing that you were paid for a link. Since we’ve seen Google de-rank websites for non disclosure of sponsored content, it’s a little odd that they’re using Hummingbird as the reason why they can’t pay for the links.
The best way to deal with any requests to insert links is to ask what their budget is (even if you’re not interested in inserting links!). That will usually scare off the majority of the requests permanently, leaving you to deal with the ones that are more serious.
What’s the best reason for non payment of sponsored content you’ve heard?