Google are continually updating their search algorithms in an attempt to be as up to date and useful as possible for their searchers. Whereas before it searched the internet for results led by key words, Google have kept developing new ways to search and now place much more importance on how useful information is, where searchers are and what else they may know about you.
This is all in an attempt to stop spammy key word SEO and to actually offer something of value to their searchers. For the searchers to spend less time and energy finding what they are after. This is the value that Google has over many other less developed search engines and why it is by far the most popular search engine available at the moment.
What is Google Hummingbird?
The latest Google development in their search algorithms is called Google Hummingbird. It concentrates much more on the `who`, `what`, `where`, `when`, and `how` of a search. Google want to be able to understand what searchers are after without searchers needing to explain.
Other recent algorithms changes have been targeted at reducing poor content and keyword heavy text, as well as making it more location specific. Now Hummingbird wants to deal with more complex search queries as well as making it work better with voice activated searches.
Voice activated technology is expected to be huge over the next few years and Google want to be ready for this. We talk differently to how we write and so Hummingbird is designed to allow people to speak naturally when looking to search.
The way that we search is also changing. Whereas before we may have written `light bulb change`, we most probably would now input `how do I change a light bulb?`. This is all being taken into account by Hummingbird to deliver the best and most relevant search results. It focuses much more on the context of a search query, and less on the actual keywords.
What does this mean for my SEO?
It depends on what you are doing. If you are writing long content which is bursting full of keywords but has little or no useful information, you will find your search engine ranking sliding rapidly. If you write high quality, original, interesting and useful content, including news items, which are relevant to your area, you are probably doing ok and will continue to do so under Hummingbird.
It`s worth setting up a blog for your website which will enable you to put out news and other relevant information regularly, as well as showing your visitors that you are up to date and out there. It is also beneficial to get active on social media as thins gives you an even better opportunity to engage with your customers and `fans`.
Like all of the other Google algorithm changes, they are developed to better the experience of the searcher. It is important to bear this in mind when you are coming up with your content. Think about what your site visitors will be looking for, and as long as you keep this to be good quality and honest, you will find that Hummingbird will work in conjunction with you and your site. Increasingly, you can`t `cheat` a search engine ranking any more, which can only be a good thing for everyone, if only a little more work!
Head of Marketing
The Internet Marketing Academy
(Image courtesy of Dollarphotoclub)