Starting this month, we’re aiming to provide a regular round-up of the month’s best articles from around the web on SEO and digital marketing.

Since this is our first round-up, I’ve included a few older articles that I think are great. Hope you find them useful!

1. How Google is changing long-tail search with efforts like Hummingbird

Rand Fishkin, the charismatic founder of Moz, gives an enlightening talk on Google’s most recent attempt to make its search results more relevant to ‘long tail’ searches. ‘Long tail’ meaning searches that use more than say five words.

The Hummingbird update also reflects that increasingly, people are asking Google questions rather than just doing keyword searches. See Rand’s video here.

2. Google’s 200 ranking factors: the complete list

This is an older post – from April 2013 – but it’s a goody. You can see that the answer to the question ‘what do the search engines look for’ is not a trivial one. Whilst we’ve got a reasonably good sense of what goes into the search algorithm, judging the relative importance of each factor is another thing entirely. Particularly as it keeps changing….

Here’s that list of ranking factors.

3. Has anyone seen my customer personas?

So you can get obsessed with ranking factors, or you can think about who you’re trying to engage with and then give them what they need. A great way to think about who you’re targeting is by developing ‘customer personas’.

4. When Keyword (not provided) is 100 Percent of Organic Referrals, What Should Marketers Do?

This significant change to Google’s approach has rocked the SEO world in recent weeks. The search engine used to let you see which keywords people had used to find your site, and now… they don’t.

Why? Well plenty of views and opinions have been flying around the SEO airwaves on this. But perhaps a better question is what can you do about it.

Here’s another video short from Rand Fishkin on the subject.

5. How search works – according to Google

A nice simple explanation from Google itself explaining some of the complexities behind online search. Check it out here.