Everyone is questioning how their content and online marketing strategies will have to change in order to stay in line with the Hummingbird update. But not many people have yet wondered what this update means for social media.
It’s important to remember that, even though Hummingbird has actually been in effect for over a month, it’s all still very new to everyone. We’re all still learning about it, how it works, and how we keep it happy. And while we’re trying to figure out the smaller nuances, we’re also trying to get a glimpse of the big picture. There’s a lot of speculation at this point because it’s just too soon to be able to definitively claim anything.
But consider this: if this update is focused on semantic search, and that aims to allow people to easily search in conversational terms, what better way to discover those conversational terms than on social media? Maybe the next use for your social CRM will be to monitor social conversations for long-tail search terms that could apply to your business.
And let’s not forget about Google+. In a post for the Search Engine Journal, Marcela De Vivo recaps a Google+ presentation from Social Media Weekly Los Angeles 2013. What it boils down to is that Plus is the main focal point in Google’s plans for search. It will continue as the center of those plans as Google banks on the future of a social search.
For you, this means increased attention to your Google+ profile, communities, Hangouts. It means making sure you’re set up with Authorship. De Vivo writes:
If you are joining Google Plus Communities and building an audience on Plus, answering questions, creating video content via Hangouts and Youtube, and using hashtags, you will be jumping on the Social Search bandwagon that Google is actively promoting.
She goes on to posit that this could be a move toward an eventual Google+ Search — one that may possibly someday replace Google.com as we know it. After all, Facebook has incorporated social search — why wouldn’t Google?
So it’s tough to deny that there’s some degree of social influence there, even if it’s only considering Google+ at the moment. It’s all just so new that marketers aren’t entirely sure what that degree is yet. It will be interesting over the next several months to see how this develops and whether or not Hummingbird will rely more on social signals as it returns search results.
What are your thoughts on Google’s Hummingbird update? Do you see this being a positive move for the world of social? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.