Google’s Hummingbird update and what it means for you

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The Hummingbird algorithm update and what it means for you

Although the Hummingbird algorithm change has been unofficially active for the last couple of months it was not until the last week of September they made it official.

So what does the hummingbird update mean for you and SME’s in general? In short it means that Google now look into a more complete search sentence instead of individual word. For you this means that your web site content needs to have key-phrases instead of only keywords.

For instance, earlier a search would be done like this: “indian restaurant” and Google would display Indian restaurants. Google would also make them local if you were logged in or Google captured your location on your IP address.

Now Google will respond to a more specific search phrase like: “A local cheap indian restaurant”. As a result of the Hummingbird algorithm change Google is now able to give a more comprehensive answer. In effect it is a move away from selected keywords to a complete search statement, or ‘conversational search’.

The main trigger for this is IOS’s Siri and other voice activated query input tools, more often used on smartphones. (You have probably noticed the microphone icon in Google’s search input field.) Using your voice as an input tool you are more likely to speak a whole sentence instead of just single words. Google have recognised this, hence the Hummingbird change. Google has become more ‘human’.

This is Google’s most important algorithm change for nearly a decade. It is stated as a rewrite of their algorithm and may have significant impacts for some.
While the Google Panda and Penguin updates concentrated on unique content the Hummingbird algorithm update concentrates on useful and related content.

In summary – What it means for you and as an SME owner:

As Google have become more longtail, i.e. longer search phrases/ search sentences, it is now imperative to write the website copy accordingly. We have to optimise for a contented visitor. Great content in the end is what will make the website visitors stay and later return to your website.

This has also made it possible for website owners who cannot afford a huge adword campaign, or not afford it at all, to have an opportunity to see a better ranking placement compared with the ‘big players’.

All it takes is great content – Is it really that easy?

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