Last month, Google released the Hummingbird algorithm. Since then, many articles and blog posts have been written about its impact on key areas for publishers – SEO, Page Rank, web authority and, perhaps most importantly, content authority and marketing.
The link at the start of this post is from Search Engine Land and offers a thorough overview of what this new Google algorithm means. However, to give you a quick idea of what Hummingbird is, here are a few of the main points from the article:
- It’s a new search algorithm that should provide much better and more contextual results;
- There are more than 200 factors making up the Hummingbird algorithm;
- It wants to increase focus on “conversational search”;
- It is not an “SEO killer”.
These are some of the main takeaways/concerns – for the bigger picture, I recommend checking out the SEL post for more details.
In short, though, Hummingbird is excellent news for publishers and content creators that care about quality over quantity, and should theoretically help improve the web when it comes to information and data.
However, for many businesses, brands and publishers, understanding what that quality content may look like can prove a challenge, which is where Toronto-based Atomic Reach comes in with its content authority software.
Content Marketing and Scoring Engine
I met up with the Atomic Reach guys a few weeks ago, and I’m impressed in where they see quality and targeted content fitting in the bigger publisher picture.
They understand the difficulties of creating content, whether that’s a blog, podcast, video or more, and their content scoring engine looks to help publishers overcome these difficulties.
This comes in the shape of three main areas.
By creating an account with Atomic Reach, you can either score your existing content to see how relevant it is for your target audience (based on goals you set when creating your account), or upload a draft version. Their algorithm then scores it based on natural language processing, to “measure the content’s quality, relevance and performance potential prior to publishing.”
Discover and Share
Within the Atomic Reach dashboard, you have the option to select the topics and industries that matter to you, both as a content consumer and a content creator. This allows you to connect with like-minded audiences that are right for your content, as well as discover the best time to share for maximum impact.
Measurement is everything, and everything is measurement. Or something like that. I’m a huge proponent of measuring all that can be measured, and Atomic Reach is no different. They track audience engagement, website performance, and social media reach amongst other factors. They can then help you make adjustments based on your content goals.
By covering these three core bases, the goal is to ensure you not only have the right content for the right audience at the right time, but your metrics will either confirm this is happening, or advise how to make it happen.
Using Atomic Reach to Work with Hummingbird
One of the ways Atomic Reach can help you benefit from the recent Hummingbird update is by helping you craft the kind of content authority articles Google looks for – those with reference links, facts, statistics and content that helps your audience with what they need to know.
Atomic Reach shows you exactly how you’re performing in this area, with a breakdown of what you’re doing right versus where you can improve. This can make for some very informative (if a little scary!) reading.
As you can see by my analysis, I need to work on increasing post length based on my revised goals (which I have been doing recently); be more aware of my grammar and spellcheck; and improve the links on my posts, both internally and externally.
This analysis can only help me be a better content creator which, in turn, can only help me follow the kind of content improvement that Google is looking to enable for the social web with the Hummingbird algorithm.
Additionally, as more publishers connect within the content community area of Atomic Reach, the more content you’ll be able to reference and potentially partner with, providing you with instant resources to use for your own content (and vice versa).
It’s a smart way of not only improving your own digital presence, but finding potential partners/clients/content providers in your own industry and within audience segments you haven’t yet reached.
What Atomic Reach Still Needs
As I mentioned earlier in the post, I’m impressed with what the guys over at Atomic Reach are trying to do, especially now more than ever, given the Hummingbird announcement from Google.
There are some areas I’d love to see fleshed out, though.
- More in-depth reporting. Granted, I’ve been messing with the free version, and there are three versions available – Blogger (the one I tested), Brands and Publishers – so it may be there are more in-depth reports available for the premium version. But it’d be great to know who my most vocal sharers are, who they influence, and how that helps my content goes beyond my first line of content sharing (my immediate community).
- Content scoring for podcasts and videos. Currently, Atomic Reach is for written blogs only. However, they did mention that video is something they’ll be looking at, based on natural language filtering, so that could be coming, which would really change the game.
- The ability to measure without having to sign into the Atomic Reach dashboard. This is more from a blogger point of view, versus a brand one, but currently you need to run everything through the Atomic Reach admin area. It’d be great if there was a WordPress plugin (much like the Scribe SEO one) that analyzes and advises directly from your blogging dashboard.
These are just some of the ways the product could really be fleshed out into something that publishers of all shapes and sizes could use.
In fairness, though, Atomic Reach is still in beta, and has a major update due imminently, so it may be some of these suggestions are already being worked on, or are covered by different versions.
Either way, the potential for Atomic Reach is huge, and – having seen it in action at the company itself and within my own account – I definitely recommend checking them out if you’re in any kind of serious content creation market.
Update April 2nd 2014: There are now a bunch of apps, including a dedicated WordPress plug-in, available for Atomic Reach.