WordPress, Your Gaming Site and Google Hummingbird

When Google released the Hummingbird update, the search engine’s intent was to better help searchers – and keep them on the SERPs longer than before. While Google obviously wants to promote visibility through the use of AdWords, gaming websites don’t need superpowers to remain visible on the SERPs. You can make a big impact not just with what you say but also with how you format content on your website.

Benefits of Authorship and Google+

The authorship feature focuses on content that is written by real people. Your content shouldn’t be ghostwritten. Rather, you should have a real picture and, perhaps more importantly, a real Google+ profile to link to when creating new articles, reviews and discussions about gaming hardware and software. You can connect your blog to Google+ with WordPress SEO by Yoast, a free plugin that we’ll touch on later.

Not only should all your contributors sign up for Google+, but they should add your website as one that they contribute to. Encourage your contributors to post their own articles and content created by others to their networks so it shows up in search results for relevant keywords in their networks. You can easily do this with JetPack, another WordPress plugin. The “Publicize” module allows you to connect Google+ profiles, among other social media accounts, to automatically publish articles to their accounts.

WordPress SEO

Yoast‘s SEO plugin is the only SEO plugin you need to use with WordPress. It allows you to define focus keywords for every page and post and alerts you to areas – images, content, titles, URLs, metadata –where you’re not using the keyword frequently enough.

Yoast’s SEO plugin even shows if you’re linking to too many external sites. It’s user-friendly and free to add to your website.

Videos and Schema.org Markup

Google continues to focus on information that can be displayed directly on the SERPs, and this is an opportunity for your gaming if you post reviews. When you rate a game using Schema.org markup, your review appears as a rich snippet in the SERPs. Do this both on individual review pages as well as pages that show the average ratings for items with multiple reviews.

Here are a few tips to format your reviews to get more visibility:

  • Use image class=”rating” for images of stars and other rating scales.
  • Add the star rating (ex: 4 Star Rating) in your image’s alt text
  • Rich snippets for reviews only work when reviewing a single product or service.

Video content will show up with a preview in Google when people search for related videos. Google indexes videos, even those not on YouTube, when you use Schema.org markup. The name, description and thumbnail URL are required. You can add duration, media URL, upload and expiration dates, but these are not required.

Even if videos supplement other content on your website, making them crawlable helps with your SEO efforts. To make sure that Google can properly add your videos to the search results, follow these guidelines.

  • Video thumbnails should be at least 160 x 90 pixels with a maximum size of 1920 x 1080
  • Do not use the same thumbnails or titles for videos.
  • Provide videos with unique URLs.

Obviously, you’ll have to be comfortable editing marketing directly rather than just uploading media or using the visual editor in WordPress. However, this gives you direct control over your website and its appearance.

Quality content, strict SEO efforts and utilizing Google’s tools and services – including authorship and Google+ – these are what make your website visible in the SERPs.