Google Hummingbird

What Google Hummingbird means for your website

People talk about ‘Google updates’ and everyone appears to know what the term means with some of these updates being more famous than others: the Google Hummingbird update is an excellent example.

Google is continually updating its algorithms for deciding which web pages people are actually searching for; the quality of its results are vital to its continued success.

With the Google Hummingbird update – its biggest for 12 years – the search engine now understands the queries being searched for better than ever.

One of the downsides to the improved delivery of suitable pages for a Google query is that some websites have been penalised for their content. The relevance of the page for its keywords is now the most important point to remember.

Before Hummingbird, a page may have directly answered a web query but the update now offers the web’s best pages in relation to the answer.

In a nutshell, Google has moved from understanding what a web page is about to understanding what the subject of a page is about.

Google Hummingbird delivers better results for users

That’s an important distinction since Google will read a web page and understand it. It’s no longer about placing irrelevant links across the Internet or stuffing keywords into content to boost rankings.

So rather than using keywords to determine that the page would be a good answer to the question being asked, Google now looks for the quality of the page being the best answer.

Some SEO experts are predicting that these are going to be good times for skilled content writers who can deliver quality Google-friendly copy because content is now truly the key to doing well in search engine results.

The Hummingbird update also makes it essential that a company that specialises in search engine optimisation carries out an audit of your website to see how it is faring (particularly if your ranking and visitor numbers have dropped since Hummingbird was introduced).

The Google Hummingbird update has also improved the ‘similar results’ it provides at the foot of a results page. As such, the update doesn’t penalise poor sites but rewards relevance and content that has ‘authority’.

Is your website Google Hummingbird friendly?

However, to really benefit from the Google Hummingbird update, a website should really exploit its social media presence since these are now an important ranking factor.

That’s not so say that what you put out on social media such as Twitter will help push your site up the rankings but it is more about how people interact with you and your social media output. This means that how people ‘talk’ about your firm is really important – almost critical if they are being negative about you or your products as this will be reflected in the search engine results.

To help make use of this, an experienced firm like Mintcandy can help exploit the opportunity that Google Hummingbird has brought since PR and content will need to be given priority.

One of the biggest changes brought by the update was to improve the ‘long tail keyword’ searches being undertaken by Google users – especially those using voice technology on Smartphones.

As Google users increasingly ask complicated questions using several keywords, (‘long tail’ means more than one keyword), the search engine has had to respond with an algorithm that catered for this growing market.

Google Hummingbird came in quietly and the SEO world reacted with caution but there is no doubt that the update has had a major impact on how searches are carried out and on what is delivered to those questions.

To help keep a firm’s website at the front of the search results queue, it’s now more important than ever that they use the experience of a firm that understands not only what Google Hummingbird has brought to the table but also how a website can best respond.

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