On its 15th birthday, Google announced the release of Hummingbird, a new search algorithm based on semantic search. Designed to provide more precise and faster search results, Hummingbird focuses more on user intent and interprets an entire string of text (long tail keywords) instead of individual search terms.

More on Hummingbird

Hummingbird is rolled out with the intent to improve the results generated on the basis of search queries. Unlike Penguin or Panda; the updates to already existing algorithms, Hummingbird is the new algorithm by Google; faster and more precise.

With Hummingbird, Google will be able to handle the influx of longer and more complex search queries in a better way. Hummingbird will be focusing lot on “conversational search”, ensuring that the entire query – be it entire sentence or a whole conversation, is taken into account.

Hummingbird for SEOs and Marketers

Till now, no drastic impact of Hummingbird on search rankings has been noticed by SEOs and marketers. If you have adopted the right SEO tactics and serving the content more from user’s than search engine’s perspective, Hummingbird will not require you to make real changes to the way you have been doing SEO.

It is essential for marketers & SEOs to understand that all the signals that haven been important from ranking perspective haven’t changed post-Hummingbird. What has changed is the way Google will now process these signals. Remarkable content and stellar user experience will now be given even more weightage by Google.

What Should be your Content Strategy?

Google gives preferences to websites that serve relevant content as per the users’ need and Hummingbird too revolves around the same concept.

But, how would you know what your consumers want?

Use Social Media Connect – You can use a social media platform to connect to users and ask what do they need or want.

Industry Forums & Blogs – Comments section in a blog or forum can turn out to be a great source of information about what users want to find and what they are being served with.

Keyword Research – Look beyond the traditional two-three word phrases. Long tail keywords are given more preference by Hummingbird.

Best Content Practices

When it comes to content creation, adhere to the best practices:

  1. Adopt a natural writing style and remember that you are creating content for users and not search engines
  2. Content should be visual, sharable, and user-friendly
  3. Keep refreshing the website by adding content
  4. Share the content on social media

The content that you create should be deep and rich, so that Google considers it to be the most relevant piece of information for a related query. Hummingbird gives more credit to websites serving content that answers the most comprehensive questions. While, your website should be rich on content, it should be well-designed & maintained so that Google spiders can crawl it easily.

Authorship will be Important

Since, Hummingbird will be paying the most emphasis on content, authorship is likely to become more important factor in optimization. Google has released several notable changes recently.

The complete integration of secure search eliminated the keyword data from analytics. Google+ later rolled out a change to authorship, making it easier to attribute content to the author. So, when you are planning a Hummingbird strategy, do take the authority into account. Ensure that you create profiles, update them, and attribute for all the content that you develop.

The Future

Hummingbird update is a clear move of Google towards a more semantic web. According to Google, the update covers 90% of the search queries worldwide and is going to fundamentally change the search in long term. Marketers and SEOs should be careful as the update brings bigger inferences from an operational & technical stance.

It is apparent that Google is pushing the World Wide Web to a place where “Content is the King” and understanding users’ needs is the key to your web success.

Read more: Google Demands Your Papers With the Hummingbird Algorithm Update