Back in September 2013, practically an eon in the internet marketing world, Google announced its latest update to its search engine algorithms. Code-named Hummingbird, this update focuses on making search results smarter and more focused on what the searcher is looking for. It builds on the shifts Google already put into place with the major updates Panda and Penguin.
What Is The Goal Of Hummingbird?
With Hummingbird, Google's goal was to give instant answers to questions and comparison data right on the search page, no need to click-through unless you want more in-depth information. This update also improve the company's mobile search capabilities, optimizing it for touch, and presenting the results on cards for easy viewing. Google began using Hummingbird in August 2013, but not officially announce its flight until the next month, around the time of Google’s 15th birthday.
How Has Hummingbird Impacted Online Searches?
According to Google, Hummingbird affected 90 percent of all searches done worldwide. That seems like a huge impact. Yet, most experts did not know about the update until a news conference about a month after it rolled out. So, it affected 9 out of 10 searches, but most people didn't notice it? Seems like a dud, right?
Actually, no. The appearance and feel of Google is the same. But the internal works are much different.
The search engine changes are in response to the changes in usage over the last decade. In the early days of the Internet, search was basic. People were happy to find some results and would weed through all the pages to find what they need. Those days are long gone. Today, people expect faster results that are as precise as possible.
This search engine shift moves Google closer to the world of artificial intelligence. Instead of blindly searching for words on a page, the search engine works to understand what the user is trying to find and come up with the best results possible. This is semantic search.
Does all of this impact your internet marketing efforts?
The days of loading a web page with certain keywords to attract search engine bots are rapidly fading away. With the introduction of semantic search and other Google changes, internet marketers are going to have to become smarter in what they do.
In-depth information - Short fluff pieces won't cut it. The search engine wants to see quality content focused on a core audience.
Conversational content - Outside of law and academics, most people don't like reading dissertations or technical manuals. Content must be casual, yet informative.
Mobile optimization - The screens are getting smaller and your website needs to adjust automatically. You also need a design that adjusts not only display but functionality based on screen size.
Build authority - Authors need to own their material and build their reputation. This plays a major factor in how Google is going to rank websites in the future.
That is how you can adjust to the Google's fast, precise and intelligent little bird.
Questions And Final Thoughts
What’s your opinion on Hummingbird? Have you noticed change in search results and traffic to your website in the past several months?
photo credit: rocky_johndb8 via photopin cc