If one thing is for certain about Google’s latest search update dubbed “Hummingbird” it’s that we don’t actually know everything about it or what it changes. In fact, the new search optimizations were actually implemented a while ago and no one really noticed until Google officially announced that it exists. That’s not to say it has no effect on how you should optimize your content, it just means the changes are subtle. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it does absolutely nothing for your SEO though. That’s a bit exaggerated.
What is Hummingbird?
The new algorithm added in Hummingbird is explicitly designed to offer more accurate results for end users, especially when their search involves a question. In other words, results now reward users for making a more semantic search. It makes sense considering a lot of people use Google to find the answers to questions, lookup research and tutorials and make similar queries.
The new algorithm essentially takes the entire context of a sentence or phrase under consideration, instead of simply accepting single words or key terms individually. Google intends to match search results completely, which will result in more accurate returns. Over time, this will hopefully cut down on the awkward results end users sometimes see that don’t actually have much to do with a query.
How Will it Affect SEO and Common Techniques?
Nothing has actually changed much for the short term, because most of the key elements have been in play for a while. Long gone are the days of throwing up cheap content laden with keywords and trigger phrases. It is now very important that your content is both engaging and informative. In other words, you want to use basic rhyme and reason when generating regular content. Creating meaningless filler just for the sake of boosting your SEO is no longer an option. Then again, that has been true for quite some time now.
If you have always focused on producing content that only serves to target keywords now is the time to stop doing that and change up your strategy. In fact, many would argue that you should have stopped doing that a long time ago.
What Should You Do Now?
Because the new algorithm allows the search engine to hone in on relevance of all things that is exactly what you should focus on as well. Ensure that you are producing content that actually serves a purpose and is informative. If you want to move to the top of the results listings, your best bet now is to help people solve problems, answer their questions and provide them with the necessary references.
Keyword baiting is long gone when it comes to SEO. You’d do well to change up your strategies or adapt them while taking that simple fact into consideration. To put it bluntly, the shortcuts are pretty much all gone. There’s only one way to climb to the top, and that’s to become the content king (or queen) of your niche.
Expect More to Come
For quite some time Google has been continuously updating the active search algorithm to be more intelligent. While the current model may not be perfect, you should still plan accordingly and that means looking to the future. Make no mistake about it, Google will optimize the current algorithm and that means updating it to be more accurate and efficient.
This is important to know because any loopholes or shortcuts that may bubble to the surface after these updates should be avoided at all costs. You can bet that through inbound marketing SEO analysts and bloggers will now try to convince you that they know some obscure workarounds. Even if they do, said tricks will eventually be phased out by Google and you will be forced to revamp your content anyway.
The better bet is to tailor your content now, and focus entirely on the new direction. That way, you won’t be forced to dump your site or web portal in the trash and start all over again when Google makes more sweeping changes.
What should you focus on exactly? I’ll repeat it again just for your benefit. Your new goal should be to produce regular content that is both informative and engaging. You want people to flock to your site for answers or information. That is now one of the only ways to get your listing moved up in the results. Get to it folks, time is of the essence.
About the Author
Adrienne Erin is a blogger and internet marketer at WebpageFX. If you like her work, you can find more of it by following her on Twitter. When she’s not writing, Adrienne loves to cook, paint, and practice her French. She dreams of someday returning to France and working abroad.