How to tackle Hummingbird – become more creative with content, create a buzz and watch it fly

This morning I was flicking through my company’s Twitter feed and noticed a great article on the latest Hummingbird update from Google. If you’ve got a moment this is a brilliant read.

google-hummingbirdThe main take-away I took from this is that the new update is now focusing on websites that answer user questions, and sites that do will fare better in the rankings than websites that don’t. Google wants every website to update itself constantly and create content to address users’ queries. The reason being that these users may land on your website from a long tail search i.e. “What’s the difference between a CD-R and a CD-RW” and sites that have this exact match or near enough title in their content will stand more chance of ranking higher than those who are just ranking for the keywords alone.

I also found the following quite interesting too “A healthy website is constantly expanding in breadth. In other words, SEO post-Hummingbird requires that a site gain new keyword rankings every month to demonstrate that it is a helpful resource.”

This indicates to me that the age of focusing purely on the ‘money keywords’ is fading and that by constantly optimising your website for dozens of new industry topics you will see positive gains in traffic and rankings.

Semantic

We have known for a while now that Google is heading down the semantic search route. It’s trying to study the meaning of every search query someone punches into Google and offering up all kinds of information it deems relevant. For instance, type “Kings of Leon songs” into Google. Before, Google would have probably just returned a page of websites offering up lyrics to their songs, now you get a carousel of hits, the wiki page, album sleeves, YouTube videos and a “People also search for” section directly in the search results.

So, having content that closely matches a query can only bode well as the new algorithm improves complex searches and seeks out content to display as part of its new semantic search style. Furthermore, a website with more entrance pages via useful content is a key signal the site is a hive of information.

Secured search

However, as usual with these helpful hints of how to be successful post-hummingbird, there is a stumbling block. Google is quickly switching to 100% secured search so soon we won’t know which keywords (or long tail search keywords) users are typing in to find a site so working out what content to write becomes a lot harder!