How to react to Google Hummingbird

5 great articles on Google’s Hummingbird Update

By Rhian Harris

Whilst announced a few weeks ago now, Google Hummingbird continues to receive speculation over when we will start to see its impacts on SEO.

Hummingbird is not an update but a brand new algorithm and is focused on a more intelligent understanding of search requests.

Users’ searches are becoming longer and more specific, so this change aims to return ‘precise and fast’ results to avoid users having to make multiple queries. It will supposedly improve what it returns for these longer ‘conversational’ search phrases (Semantic Search), with the idea that the engine understands intent behind search, rather than just matching indexed pages to the keywords.

According to the head of Google’s core ranking team Amit Singhal:

“The change needed to be done because people have become so reliant on Google that they now routinely enter lengthy questions into the search box instead of just a few words related to specific topics.”

So what does this mean for your business?

Hummingbird is said to be most noticeable to the SEO industry as it will likely affect around 90% of all searches, but it was actually introduced a month ago and only recently announced.

The main impact of Google Hummingbird will be that the way in which you have historically optimised your site for specific ‘keywords’. You will now have to think about the way in which people search naturally and ‘conversationally’, and remember that Google is going to try to assume what the user actually means from context of their queries.

For example, sites with an abundance of statistics that would previously have been great ‘evergreen’ content, may no longer rank against searches where Google is trying to anticipate longer searches in order to answer a question.

Although apparently not part of Hummingbird, another recent change is the announcement that 100% of keyword data will not be passed through to website owners resulting in “(not provided)” data, thereby eliminating the ability to track users by their keyword searches.

So here are 5 great articles to help you manage these recent changes and understand how Google Hummingbird could impact your website:

Search Engine Land – How Will Google Hummingbird Impact Links? Here Are 6 Ways

Social Media Today – 10 Ways Google’s Hummingbird Will Shape Future SEO and Content Marketing

Content Marketing Institute – Keep Your Website Content Ranking After Google Hummingbird: 8 Tips

Yahoo! Small Business Advisor – A Guide to Google Hummingbird (Infographic)

Search Engine Watch – What ‘(Not Provided)’ & Google Hummingbird Mean for Small Business SEO

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