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What is Google Hummingbird and will it effect your SEO?

google-hummingbird-logo

When you look up the definition of Google, as supplied by Google, not once does it mention ‘increasing traffic to websites.’ Instead the emphasis comes back to what Google was initially designed for and that is to provide answers to questions. Google is a search engine first and foremost and wants to keep it’s status as the worlds most used search engine which is where Google Hummingbird comes into play.

If you have conducted a Google Search recently you may have noticed an addition to your search results page. A box with the answer to your specific question will be gracing the top of the search page. No links, no websites, just pure information giving you the option to retrieve your information and move on.  This box is an ‘Information Card’ and contains the pure hard  facts, nothing else. The Information Card that you are seeing is the result of Google’s latest algorithm which they have affectionately named Hummingbird.

So what is Google Hummingbird?

Google Hummingbird was named after the feathered friend for it’s speed and accuracy. The Hummingbird is also another reason why Google is growing from strength to strength. Google is researching, monitoring and understanding how people search and what they are looking for. The Hummingbird algorithm understands the context of the question being typed into the search bar whereas previously the search engine would purely latch onto what it saw as ‘key words’ and send the searcher in the direction it thought was correct. The Hummingbird eliminates the guess work by reading the search query as a whole and not dismissing the ‘whats’ and ‘hows’ as had been done before.

Why did Google develop Hummingbird?

Google is staying true to itself. Google is a search engine and it wants to keep it’s users happy (and ultimately continue to gather as much data as possible on our searches).  If users are just wanting a quick answer and not having to scroll through pages of irrelevant websites and dead-end links, Google has come up with the solution. People want the easy answer – they don’t want to waste time and have to look around for it themselves. Hummingbird has made the path to finding answers a lot smoother.

What does Hummingbird mean for SEO? 

Anytime Google introduces something new to it’s search method, business owners and web developers often quiver in fear. However, Google has assured us that this new Hummingbird feature, will not affect page rankings or how content is found. However, we all may have to work a little bit harder to keep our spots on the ever-shrinking space on the first page of Google rankings. How do we do that? It all comes down to content and regular updates.

How can Hummingbird help your SEO?

Hummingbird works on understanding the context of the question being asked – not just keywords. This means if your website is content rich with buckets of useful and relevant information, you’ll do just fine.

Some tips to help your content match up with the new and improved searches include:

Don’t limit your content to one specific topic: Encompass as much information that is relevant to your service and your industry as possible. There’s more chance people will find you if you appeal to a broader audience.

Keep your content current: Keep up-to-date with all the latest news relating to your industry and use this to rewrite and include in your own blog. This will increase the chance of people finding you when searching for the latest news and headlines.

Increase your entrance pages: As much as we would like people to use the ‘front door’ that is the homepage, the ultimate goal is to get people to your website, no matter which way they come in. This is when having content pages describing your services and an overflow of helpful information pays off. Just make sure all of the links to your website are working so people don’t get lost as they navigate through.

Make sure you have an FAQ page: This is a free pass for creating relevant content which people will search for. FAQ Pages have the added benefit of blatantly including the question people will ask which Google will love.

All in all, content is still the key for driving people in the direction of your website. If there is good content updated on a regular basis, visitors will return to your site and Google will start to take notice and reward you accordingly.

If you would like some advice on how to include relevant content on your website, give us a call today.

Google Hummingbird Screen