Google has recently launched a brand new algorithm update called ‘Google Hummingbird’. This is Google’s first brand new algorithm update since 2001 and is aimed at returning better results in the organic rankings. Google have also announced that the Hummingbird update can make better use of more complex search results (searches that have words such as how and why in them for example) and is better at understanding the human language.
Google really just wants to give the most accurate results in the rankings and this new algorithm is a major step at achieving this.
Google are trying to generate the most accurate results, questions such as: “Where is the closest place in Portsmouth to buy an Android Phone”, originally may have generated search results by matching the words, such as find pages with the terms ‘Android phone’ and ‘Portsmouth’ in them. Hummingbird however tries to focus on the meaning behind the words such as where and the location to give you the most accurate results possible.
There was a strong feeling that Google was always going to go this way and it makes perfect sense as they want people to find exactly what they are looking for with one search rather than having to sift through multiple searches.
If you have been creating high quality content that people want to engage with and have been focusing on using social media in the right way to help drive traffic to your site, you have nothing really to worry about. Like all algorithm updates, they are designed at penalising people who are using poor quality SEO techniques (black hat techniques) to try and gain rankings and penalising their sites.
There is now a stronger emphasis on social media and content than there has ever been, no longer can you get away with poor quality content and expect to move up the rankings. A good combination of social media and engaging content is still important and these techniques are what is going to help with your SEO strategies. Remember that you want to make sure that on page SEO strategies are still used on your site as they are still important in the search engine algorithms.
With the Hummingbird update having been out already for a month if you haven’t seen a drastic spike in traffic then there is a good chance that Hummingbird has not affected you at all. People who have been practising black hat techniques might not have been so lucky. Google are always going to change and update their algorithms to provide only the best quality results, so make sure that you only practice white hat techniques and you should continue to see your SEO strategies rewarded.
Google are careful not to give too much away about the Hummingbird update but you can read a more in depth review about it here from Danny Sullivan, a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land.
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