Google’s Hummingbird: The latest update and what you need to know for SEO

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It was Google’s 15th birthday last week and to celebrate this, Google unveiled their new algorithm update. It’s not just an update or refresh of the Panda or Penguin Algorithms, we’re talking an entirely new ranking algorithm.

Internet Marketing is booming and will continue to expand continuously and if you have a business which needs the internet to operate, you ultimately have to do marketing which leads us to the big Google question. Will this new update help, or hurt my business?

First things first, what has the Google Hummingbird Algorithm changed?

  • Many of the current rules applying to the Penguin Algorithm still stand in regards to posting sustainable and ethical content

  • 90% of searches are going to be affected by Hummingbird through the full extent and reach of its effects as the idea of Semantic Search (natural and conversational search terms) which tend to be long-tail natured is more important now than ever before.

  • Hummingbird is a more sophisticated build and will provide a better means for Google users with less emphasis on individual keywords and more focus on a collective (semantic) meaning.

As mentioned above, the Hummingbird update will put less focus on matching keywords and more emphasis on understanding what a user is likely hoping to obtain in their search results. We, as small businesses do have an audience, whether it be small or large but do we 100% understand this audience? In most cases, no.

Google is getting smarter and can now understand the link between a relationship and relevance of words and phrases instead of just one without the other. Having a beautiful website or an entertaining blog will not keep your community interested in the long run. It is time, as a business to focus on being one step ahead of your competition and taking full advantage of the marketing tools available. Having an engaging blog combined with a responsive, well designed website and a strong, communicate social media presence will give you the ultimate authority online.

If changes for you from an SEO perspective haven’t impacted your strategy significantly for you in the last month then you’ve escaped Google Hummingbirds change. Some of the effects it has been having are small and easily missed including losses in Domain Authority and drop down in SERPS for highly ranked content.

For some time now, providing useful and high quality content on blogs and websites including optimised content towards long tail keywords has been of high significance. The future of SEO activity will be focused on longer, semantic search terms, in other words, if you updated your SEO activity and content marketing based on the Penguin update earlier this year, very little is likely to change for your business.

Prioritise a well-rounded online marketing strategy that continues to deliver a clear message if you want Google Humminbird to really help your business.


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