Hummingbird may be a word that brings to mind small red feeders, bright sun light, and buzzing wings, but for many the term is painting a much more stressful picture, as they rush to figure out what Google has up their sleeves this time.
It’s the name of the new search algorithm that Google is using, one that Google says should return better results. It is deemed the ‘fast and precise’ way to search and was launched last fall.
Hummingbird is capable of doing things that the old search engine couldn’t. Included on this list, is the ability of the engine to ‘understand’ verbal searches. This is a good thing for companies. If you consider the percentage of potential consumers who are regularly on the go, and who are looking to their mobile devices for potential purchases – mobile devices equipped with Siri, for instance — Hummingbird could drum up a lot of business. But you have to be able to harness its power.
Will it mean a complete overhaul in the way that you currently manage SEO? No. For the most part, the general SEO rules of thumb will remain the same. There are however, a few things to keep in mind as you move forward.
Longtail Keywords Taper Off This is not to say that the need for keyword-rich content will no longer be required, but simply that you should expect the need for specific keyword phrases to diminish a bit. With the new search engine, Google will recognize synonyms. In other words, a search for ‘lawyers’ will automatically seek sites with the keyword ‘attorneys’. There is a level of understand there, which wasn’t there before. That means content is more important that the specific wording used.
Meaningful Content is More Important than Ever Undoubtedly Hummingbird is just the first phase in Google’s effort to make searching smarter. That means that you can get ahead by creating the content that consumers want now. Strong content, as always should include a clear headline, a concise opening paragraph, meaningful subheadings, and links to other, related, useful content. That being said, you can let go of the preconceived notions about ideal article length, keyword density, and number of links.
The important thing to remember is, if you are creating material that people want, they are likely to share, which automatically improves your SEO. Strong, ample content is the sugar water for this Hummingbird.