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October 09 2013

What is Google’s Hummingbird Singing?

what is google hummingbirdThe future of search is upon us with the recent unveiling of Google’s latest algorithm update, Hummingbird. The first change to their search algorithm since 2001, Hummingbird attempts to bring more predictive and relevant results to users by focusing on the exact context of the search, as opposed to the keywords contained within. As search queries from web users become longer and more complex, the algorithm compensates and expands on question-based phrases by looking into the “why?” as opposed to the “what?” 

The best way to describe Google Hummingbird is that it allows for conversational-based search. This requires websites to act as the solution to questions commonly asked, because the entire search query will now be taken into account, reducing reliance on phrase strings which traditionally powered SEO.

By increasing the ability to handle complicated searches, Hummingbird should lead to better indexing of web documents. It also makes the Google Knowledge Graph (that curated section on the SERP) a vital aspect of information gathering. Understanding Google’s business model and their proprietary tools, like Google Voice, Google Now, and the aforementioned Knowledge Graph, are essential in understanding Hummingbird.

Another thing to keep in mind is that much of the focus within Hummingbird is Mobile. Having their own mobile operating system (Android), Google is intent on improving people’s ability to search from their mobile phones, and this algorithm rewards those who take a mobile-friendly mindset. The focus of search is no longer the keyboard, but rather the intent of the user, and Google Hummingbird firmly establishes this paradigm shift.

Hummingbird rewards websites that understand and adapt to semantic search, and position themselves as answers to the questions their target audience is seeking. Your business must identify intent, needs, and problems to survive in the Google Hummingbird ecosystem. Original, high-quality content was always the suggestion, but it is now a necessity.

The key to benefiting most from Hummingbird is placing yourself in the shoes of your customers, and develop relevant, engaging content. Gone are the days of spamming keywords and cold leads. Pages that match the meaning of a user’s search will perform more effectively than pages that simply match a few words. So when developing websites, business's must ask themselves, “What is it the user needs when entering their query? Will my page match their intent?” 

If you want to leave these questions to the experts, enlist the help of Webstetic today.

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