Why Google Hummingbird is a Win with your Prospects and Customers
Creating the kind of content your audience is looking for, the new algorithm will help them find you.
That’s why Hummingbird is a win for your customers, and a win for you.
Google’s new search algorithm, Google Hummingbird, is affecting all Google searches.
Named for its precision and speed, Hummingbird represents a big change in Google’s approach to search. With Hummingbird, Google is trying to improve the search. They’re trying to get better at listening – at finding out what users want to know.
Hummingbird was designed to understand “conversational” queries. This means it’s trying to understand the meaning behind phrases, rather than searching for individual keywords within a phrase. Now, Hummingbird recognizes that “where is” is part of a speech pattern (instead of a term that needs to be searched), and that “nearest” relates to my geographic location. Because I’ve allowed Chrome to know my computer’s location, it presents me with a list of local ice cream shops – with ratings.
By recognizing “conversational” queries, Google is paving the way for more voice searches, which are becoming more common. If you’re using Chrome, you may have noticed the little microphone icon on Google’s homepage. Click on it, and you’re invited to speak your search query aloud.
At this point, most of us have learned to use keywords in typed searches, but speaking in keywords is another story. As voice searches become more common, Google’s ability to parse a whole phrase’s meaning, rather than just individual words, will become more important.
Google is also aiming to answer audience questions through their Knowledge Graph whenever possible, rather than redirecting searchers to another page. Searches for movie show times, measurement or currency translations, and word definitions already returned answers on Google’s site. With the Hummingbird update, Google is supplying some comparison charts directly on their page.
Google is getting smarter. This means techniques like keywords stuffing, which have effectively “gamed” Google’s results in the past, will become increasingly less effective.
Google has announced a string of updates in the last few years, each one altering the best practices for SEO. In late September, Google made all organic searches secure, meaning that keyword data for visitors to your website was no longer available, changing the SEO efforts of many companies. Google also announced that PageRank won’t be updated this year, and many marketers expect PageRank to disappear altogether.
Smart content marketing is one of the best ways to nurture relationships with your prospects and customers, but it requires a whole mix of techniques. Optimization is vital to that mix, but so is the constant creation of valuable materials to drive traffic to your site.
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