The Hummingbird algorithm update has changed Google search. You don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing, and you don’t have to be a Search Engine Optimization expert to know that Google search results are not the same as they were. The change isn’t necessarily bad. It is just different.
Why and What?
There are a couple of things in play here.
For at least a couple of years, Google has been moving towards “semantic search” and “entity” (which we’ll talk about in a future blog post) results, and with the Hummingbird algorithm update, Google is continuing that path. Simply put, semantic search tries to understand searcher intent and the contextual meaning of the keywords in a search query.
As we all know Google has a treasure trove of data about how we search, how it relates to us, where we are, and on and on it goes. The results are meant to be more natural, or “conversational,” because search queries are increasingly more conversational in manner. Hummingbird is an effort to leverage that premise and provide more relevant search results, which is what Google is always trying to do and sell.
The other thing in play is the extremely rapid embracement of mobile devices and Google’s refinement of voice search capabilities. The keyboard (with shorter queries for many reasons) is falling victim to voice search on phones, tablets, notebooks, and even some desktops. For most people, voice search is as “natural” as it gets.
What do you need to do?
Those of you who read this blog or know me, might expect me to say, “your content needs to be well-written, describing the benefits of each of your products and/or services.” That is exactly part of what I would say. The content has to be structured correctly on the page. You should take advantage of linking (correctly) to other relevant pages within your website. Of course, there is more that can be done to individual websites, that I won’t generalize here.
Quality, well-written content will be rewarded even more, as long as it is natural and conversational. Keyword cramming won’t work so well for you, and that’s a good thing.
Of course, we are always happy to help. If you would like some help sorting out all the talk about Hummingbird, please give us a call at 1-800-281-9993 or 608-822-3750, or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.