What has the name of a tiny lightning-quick bird and is a search algorithm update that has an impact on 90% of all searches? Google’s Hummingbird is the most significant Google update since Caffeine in 2010, as it changes the rules of the game more fundamentally than the Penguin and Panda updates. Still, one thing remains the same for all looking at SEO and content marketing out there – if you are producing great content, you will rank well, and precisely quality content is what Google is pointing at on its 15th birthday.
Google wants to get closer to the natural way of asking and responding to questions in terms of answering users’ queries. This means that the clear direction is a search algorithm that is focusing on the context and the user intent much more than ever before. Simply put, the target is a kind of semantic worldwide web, in which abusive SEO practices stay in the past. How does this relate to content marketing – naturally, this remains to be seen with time, but the main point as with previous updates stays the same. The pinpoint is relevant and high quality content, and if you are producing this, your business can benefit from Hummingbird because it will allow you to stand out from your competitors.
“Like most Google updates, the real effect will likely not be fully understood for several weeks, maybe months,” says Paris Childress, Hop Online’s CEO. “This update appears to be targeting information-related queries, and thus should not impact commercial websites too much, although it will still be pushing websites further down the page and taking away precious SERP real estate.”
What this means is that business websites might suffer in their ranking, but once again, the key is adapting to the changes through engaging with an improved content marketing strategy that produces content of high value to the user and with a well-rounded social media presence that underlines the authority and standing of a business.
And… the humming
It’s called Hummingbird for a reason – it’s meant to be really fast and really precise. There is more to that name though, and it’s the humming part. Google not only wants you to hum, it wants you to talk to it – in the very direct sense. The person on the next table is not hearing strange voices in their head. They are just using the advanced voice queries option, which allows you to talk to your tablet or computer. This is yet another step in the direction of a conversational search, letting people interact with Google as though they are asking their question to a friend and bringing the search engine to a new level of intelligence and automated ‘intuition’. However, SEO will have to step up as well to match this advancement because the conversational style of asking a question is very different from a written one. This will certainly affect keyword density and volume, which means that SEO gurus will have to answer the challenge with a different, more comprehensive approach that puts high quality content and a multitude of keywords on a throne.
If you are in the SEO field or you are using content marketing for your business, simply raise the bar on your original content and invest thoroughly in your social media presence. Then Hummingbird will likely benefit you, as it is a stimulating challenge to evolve online.
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