Hummingbird Update Makes Google More Human

Over the past month, some of you have been seeing some changes in Google’s search results to display much more relevant results. This is mainly due to the brand new algorithm Google has rolled out, known as “Hummingbird”, that has overhauled the old algorithm.  They actually released it before announcing it, and nobody notices; which is exactly what Google would prefer. Google periodically releases new versions of their algorithm to improve certain aspects, however this is the biggest change in over a decade. What does this mean for your website and SEO rank?

Alga who?

A search engine algorithm is a mathematical computation that provides the end user with relevant search data. In other words, its what makes the search engine show you “Joe’s Used Cars” when you search for “used cars Boston” in any search engine. Fundamentally, the way Hummingbird affected the google algo is by treating the entire search term as one relevant string. It’s trying to become more …human. Now, as opposed to breaking it up and analyzing each keyword, Google will take the search phrase “show me used cars in Boston” and give you a Map with pins from local dealerships, including Joe’s. So this update focuses on semantics – the natural way that human speech and normal questions are formed and presented.

What hummingbird changes

Write better, useful, thoughtful content – this update makes quality content take precedence over junk. Essentially, people need to start to write better content, use a number of synonyms to capture all the variations that google will associate, and discontinue writing content that is saturated with one keyword, or using “article spinning” services that recycle the same content.

The Hummingbird update means that search engine optimization experts need to start finding new ways of measuring keyword usage rates, since all Google searches are now encrypted making much of the keyword data unavailable.  You may have noticed this when looking at your google analytics organic keyword data, and seeing “not provided” in the area that is supposed to show the exact keyword. Since keyword searches are more becoming encrypted, this means that a websites’ search engine rank is more heavily influenced by quality content.  This does not mean keywords are no longer relevant in the equation, but there is a higher focus on the quality of content a website contains.  If you have not recently evaluated your website content for quality, now is a better time than ever to do so.

What you can do

Keyword strategies should also now be revisited and revised periodically, to ensure the effort is being put into effective keywords that are going to get you ranked.  Competitive analysis is going to be a critical step in choosing quality keywords to list you in local search results. Is time for you to revisit your SEO strategy? Do you need expert advice about your current strategy? You should consult Boston Web Group today about our Search Engine Optimization packages.