What is Google's Hummingbird?
Hummingbird is a completely new search algorithm, or process. It affects 90% of all searches. It was launched a month ago but only announced recently as part of Google’s 15th birthday. In fact, it’s the first completely new algorithm since 2001.
It’s aimed at making Google better at gathering information. It’s more user-focussed, indexing websites more often (identifying changes) and identifying spammy content, (‘keyword stuffing’ has long been ill-advised… even more so now). It coincides with Google Analytic’s encrypting of keyword data, which had rendered ‘Organic Traffic Sources’ almost useless – another nudge in the ‘don’t rely on keywords’ direction.
How will Hummingbird help?
It’s all about the user… Google wants to be better at understanding what searchers really want and providing them with better answers. This new search process allows Google to understand user intent more closely. Understanding people will prepare Google for a future dominated by voice and mobile search.
Quite simply, we’re entering more conversational queries such as ‘how do I’ or 'where can I find’ rather than a string of key terms. Hummingbird will allow Goggle to provide us with more relevant results to our queries rather than simply a long list of relevant (hopefully) web links.
How will Hummingbird affect my website?
Anticipate the questions which people will ask. They are usually ‘open’ questions, starting with ‘how’, ‘why’, ‘where’, when’, ‘who’ and ‘what’. Then use these phrases together with relevant keywords within your site. Try this post as an example.
In marketing, the customer is king and relevant, helpful content is the way to gain favour. This ‘best practice’ approach has always meant creating a more advisory than ‘salesy’ style to information and messages you want to promote. This is ideal for Hummingbird! It also offers harmony between copywriting and optimisation for websites - at last!
Remember - always keep your aims in mind before jumping on the latest seo bandwagon. Hummingbird is perfect for guides, downloads and advisory wording. How will you ensure that this transfers into the original goals you have for your website?
If you'd like to discuss this further, please contact us.