Google Hummingbird Update – The Insights of the New Algorithm

· SEO Articles

 It may be good news or bad news to you when you learn that Google unveiled a brand new algorithm update named as “Hummingbird” on the eve of their 15th Birthday some days ago. Webmasters around the world are wondering if their sites have been affected or not by the Google Hummingbird update on the SERPs. I have some insights about the new update from some experts.

google hummingbird update

Image from Search Engine Land

What is an Algorithm Update?

Google use a ranking algorithm to choose which web pages to display on the result page. An algorithm update is a change to the old algorithm adding some new feature for serving better results to user’s queries.

When an algorithmic update is released, usually some sites lose SERP ranking and some others gain ranking. In the recent past, we have seen the impacts of Google Panda, Penguin and other updates. They were part updates to the old algorithm. Now, it is more likely that Panda and Penguin have been integrated with the new update. It means that you still need to follow the Google’s quality guidelines, as you did to protect your site from Panda and Penguin penalties. Hummingbird is a complete replacement of the existing algorithm rewritten for a better search experience since that of 2001.

Although the Hummingbird update has been announced recently, Google has been using it already. So, if you didn’t see any major change in your keyword ranking last month, you should not worry about it.

SEO is not yet dead. Google says, “Our guidance to webmasters is the same as always — we encourage original, high-quality content, since that’s what’s best for web users.” You don’t need to change your SEO strategies as a whole.

What is new in the Hummingbird update?

In the new algorithm, PageRank is still one of over 200 factors that Google use in the ranking algorithm. Named for being precise and faster, Hummingbird is based on semantic search, focusing on the accurate meaning of a search phrase. At any algorithm update, Google aims to serve better results for people’s queries. Now, they are offering the capability of conversational search (search by voice) to more mobile devices and tablets. The new engine provides advanced conversational search and returns greater knowledge graph results. For better user experiences, Google go more innovative to meet the ways how people are searching. The new update will help Google provide the best results on various factors for complex searches from users.

What should you do now?

After so many talks and discussions about Panda-Penguin updates and their impacts on the web, now the Hummingbird update has arrived to replace the old Google algorithm. It is the next step to pull out more qualified results to obtain the needs of people more quickly. The roll out may be the opportunity to websites offering the answers to customers’ needs. As experts say, Google with the new Hummingbird update will not provide the search results based on keyword matches. But it will put emphasis on delivering results what searchers most intend to get. It means that sites catering the content more to satisfy their audience will be seen rising their business in the future.

There is no longer a quick SEO. You should make quality content sharable, linkable and engaging. One expert says that SEO should be less about keyword data and more about customer engagement. Hummingbird along with Google’s new 100% (not provided) keyword update stands quite opposite of the keyword based SEO. So, you need to focus on overtaking your competitive sites in your market segment by utilizing all possible marketing strategies from site design to blogging to the strong social media signals – the strategies to becoming the authority in the market segment. Hummingbird looks into mobile users. So, redesign your site for mobile devices.

Some optimization tips:

1. Connect your site to Google+ account

Try to get more relationships and interactions on Google+ so that Google know more about your areas of expertise.

2. Keyword Research

You can use a Google Keyword Tool alternative like It provides keyword ideas for synonyms and phrase variations. You should also do Google search to find your targeting pages. It will help Google rewrite and reorder the search strings. For example, you have an online book store. Think which keywords will find your book store website on Google. Type it and search. The keywords you used are stored. When someone types a search phrase similar to your keywords on Google, they will see autosuggestions including your keyword. If your keyword is chosen, they will find your site in the results.

3. Write content in the form of answering questions

Google have hidden the organic keyword data. But we thought content should be created as we found in the people’s keyword data. Now, we have come to answering the people’s questions to take the relevant traffic driving advantages. Put your content more for answering people’s questions.

4. Google Local Search Optimization

More and more people start using mobile internet and they use Google search for local results from their devices. Hummingbird is fond of mobile friendly sites and formats. You can take the advantage if your business is designed for local people. It is suggested to have a Google+ Local page with your details. If people use your name in searching, they will find your details in a panel.

5. Image Optimization

Optimize your images to enable image searchers find your site. Know your keyword and optimize the image filename and ALT tag with the keyword. But don’t over-optimize, just define the image along with some words.

6. Inbuilt Site Search

Have an idea of putting an inbuilt site search on your site. You can get your content idea from those visitors’ keywords.

For more insights of the algorithm update and how you can rank after this update, you can read a recently published book – The Google Hummingbird Update 2013: What You Need To Know (Marketing Matters)

This article is from the mentions of some marketing experts. If you have anything to express after reading this article, I welcome your valuable comment at the bottom of this page.

If you are a novice site owner or even a SEO expert, you will agree that it is hard to get a smart online marketing success in this competitive world. Actually, you need more expert tactics in this field – to market your products or services successfully and profitably without getting Google penalties. Check our lists of selected best books:

Best SEO books for 2013

Best link building books for 2013


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