In February of 2012, Google began launching the Panda Update (bears), the first of many steps away from a link-based model of relevance to a user experience model of relevance. This bearish focus on relevance use algorithms to determine a positive user experience focused on click-through (does the user select the result), bounce rate (does the user take action once they arrive at the landing page) and conversion (does the landing page satisfy the user’s information need). Content and information design became the foundation for relevance. Sadly, no one at Google told the content strategists, user experience professionals and information architects about their new influence on search engine performance. In April of 2012, Google followed up with the Penguin update (birds), a direct assault on link building, a mainstay of traditional search engine optimization (SEO). The Penguin algorithm evaluates the context and quality of links pointing to a site. Website found to be “over optimized” with low quality links are removed from Google’s index. Matt Cutts, GOogle Webmaster and the public face of Google, summed this up best: “And so that’s the sort of thing where we try to make the web site, uh Google Bot smarter, we try to make our relevance more adaptive so that people don’t do SEO, we handle that...” Sadly, Google is short on detail about how they are handling SEO, what constitutes adaptive relevance and how user experience professionals, information architects and content strategists can contribute thought-processing biped wisdom to computational algorithmic adaptive relevance so that searchers find what they are looking for even when they do not know that that is. This presentation will provide a brief introduction to the inner workings of information retrieval, the foundation of all search engines, even Google. On this foundation, I will dive deep into the Bs of how to optimize Web sites for today’s search technology: Be focused, Be authoritative, Be contextual and Be engaging. Birds (Penguin), Bears (Panda) & Bees: Optimal SEO will provide insight into recent search engine changes, proscriptive optimization guidance for usability and content strategy and foresight into the future direction of search.