Hummingbird Update

Hummingbird Update

Google recently released their Hummingbird algorithm and it will likely impact the way search is conducted and change the face of SEO. It’s a revolutionary idea that will change the way sites are marketed in search. While SEO strategies still work overall, many of them are likely to change. The SEO specialists will need to take the strategies that work, and align them with content marketing in order to be competitive in the new Hummingbird search world.


What does the Hummingbird update mean for B2B sites?

Before the Hummingbird update, strong keyword strategies were used and companies might use targeted keywords including long-tail keywords to optimize their sites. A properly optimized site would rank high in the SERPs based on the use of specific keywords or keyword phrases. With the Hummingbird update, keyword strategies are no longer relevant like they used to be. The new algorithm uses a semantic search which is based more on the user intent for the search instead of the words used in the query; and pages are ranked based on the natural context. Google used to use short-tail results but it was way too broad and diverse so users were not always directed to relevant content. With Google changing the algorithm so that it can distinguish intent, it reduces some of the competition between keywords which was really irrelevant to the specific search, just used the same words. The newest algorithm has actually created a search landscape which is more level and easier to compete in for B2B companies. For those who have been using SEO best practices, only some slight adjustments will be needed, but overall, there will most likely be a measurable benefit from the new algorithm.


What about keyword rankings?

Google’s latest updates have totally changed the way keywords are used and visitors for short-tail keywords are less relevant now. However, it is still important to write content around the topic to help establish your site as an authority or a leader in the market or niche. It just isn’t as easy with the newest algorithms as it was before. Analytics and content marketing work together more now. Previous content strategies would have been built around content that was oriented around the service or product in hopes of ranking for a particular keyword. Now, content will need to be less oriented around the service or product and more centered on the topic itself. It has to be aimed at providing useful and high quality information to users. It can be beneficial to look at the Analytics on keywords that were used before Google stopped providing the data on keywords. You can also take a look at site search usage. This will give you an idea about what user interests are beyond just the product or service. Using the keywords which would have been the center of attention, you can now construct a list of topics for your new content. The topics generated can be used for posting blogs, social media posts or any other type of content marketing.


Change up Your Keyword Strategy

If you used targeted short-tail keywords as a large part of keyword strategies prior to the updates, it is now time to make that shift. Adjustments will need to be made to title tags, headings, and content – switch them to target the long-tail keywords. It’s a good strategy to use the short-tail terms in the site content as long as it provides users with valuable information. Use your long-tail terms on pages which are primarily geared toward services or products. These changes will conform to the latest Hummingbird update and create an improved user experience as well as drive more relevant searches to your site. Keep your eye on the bounce rate as this metric is a key indicator. If you are on the right path, you should see a decrease in bounce rates.


Determining Results

Search trends have really been shifting over the last year or so and it is time to once again shift strategies and SEO practices in order to be in line with them. Even though the Hummingbird update was announced recently, it has actually been in effect for several weeks. By changing the focus to thought leadership and informative posts page ranks should be noticeably consistent. Remember that you can keep the search engines in mind, but write and create for the user’s experience.