Are You Hummingbird-proof?
- Jul 11, 2014
- Ronita Kundu
Launched in 2013, Hummingbird, this algorithm by Google, has changed the search criteria of our everyday search engines to quite an extent. Pre-Hummingbird, the contents that showed up for a search, were usually based on the appearance of the keywords that we typed in. Not anymore. Search results have been made more interactive now. With Hummingbird, Google tries to understand the intent behind the words typed in. And based on that context, it comes up with the relevant search results. In a nutshell, Google has turned more thorough with its searches post Hummingbird.
The Hummingbird launch has refined, if not revolutionized, user’s browsing experience a great deal. They do not, anymore, need to make their way through a pile of unnecessary search results, endeavoring to handpick the ones relevant to them. Now, that was quite a task, wasn’t it? Contrary to the specific-keyword-detection algorithm, Hummingbird understands user’s requirements better through its phrase-detection features and fishes out results that would best suit their requisites.
With Google Hummingbird, the effect on content is enormous. A muddled and hurriedly-put-together content would not do anymore. If you want Google to locate your page and project it to the forefront, then you should produce quality content, no sidestepping!
- If content is good enough and user’s requirement matches the points covered, then you need not worry about the Hummingbird update.
- Keywords are not anymore the hero of the content: the idea and its representation are. Therefore, you need to keep in mind that customer intent should be given more importance than keyword optimization.
- Moreover, the title is very important. Suppose you want to write an article about fast food outlets in your vicinity, then you should mention this whole thing in your title instead of writing “Outlets Serving Fast Food”. Why? You got it right. Hummingbird, as mentioned before, is partial to understanding intent rather than locating matching keywords.
- This being a smartphone-frenzy era, people nowadays resort to accessing the internet through their mobile phones. This has elevated voice search, more commonly known as Conversational Search, and Hummingbird comes to the rescue. People find it easier to ask, “How far is the nearest Italian restaurant?” than typing it. Build your content accordingly. Making it user-friendly is the key.
Hummingbird and SEO
“Is SEO dead?”, hums the repetitive scare of the numerous. Well, no! If you are following the thumb rules of SEO, then you are safe. There is no shortcut to ranking. If you stick to the best practices of SEO, then Hummingbird should, in fact, help you in your efforts, rather than worsen it.
- Be informative
- Be interactive
- Research on the basic questions users tend to ask
- Incorporate questions in your content
- Be precise
- Do not, I repeat, do not forget to come up with quality content
According to Robert Hof of Forbes, “SEO is not yet again dead. In fact, Google’s saying, there’s nothing new or different SEOs or publishers need to worry about. Guidance remains the same, it says: have original, high-quality content. Signals that have been important in the past remain important; Hummingbird just allows Google to process them in new and hopefully better ways.” So, relax.
The Basic Rules of SEO
In case you are wondering whether you are doing your SEO right, we have jotted down a few basic rules for you. We know you have been following them to the letter, still here’s a quick revision just to be sure.
- Rich content: by rich I don’t mean the overloading of keywords. I mean quality content, which should definitely be relevant to the topic.
- Create an appropriate meta description for your web page within a hundred and fifty words so as to skyrocket your content a few notches higher in the search result.
- Don’t forget the title. Each of your pages should contain a bang on heading that should encapsulate the nitty gritty of the content. Why? Remember Hummingbird! Well actually, your white-hat persona must not have permitted otherwise all these days.
- Understand the symbols. Hyphens are separators, underscores are not. Use your symbols wisely.
Knowledge Graph is basically the information that Google has been receiving for the searches typed in by its users. This information is used by Google to upgrade user’s future searches, bringing in all the possible options at their fingertips. Searches are more interactive when questions are used. This has been the new trend in user search for quite some time now. As stated earlier, Hummingbird helps with that to quite an extent. With its interactive search forms, question-based search soars to the top of the list of probable search criteria of the users.
How Hummingbird works?
Following are a few steps elucidating the working principles of Hummingbird:
- Breaking down the query typed into smaller components
- Identify user intent
- Assign synonyms
- Refine the user intent
- Determine the information that needs to be retrieved
- Determine what results to come up with so as to match the user requirements perfectly
Semantic search is what defines Google Hummingbird best. Query-based search results are now in trend. Understanding the contextual meaning and refining search accuracy are the key ingredients to semantic search hows and whats. Searching by taking a whole phrase into account is the foremost rule that Hummingbird follows, making user’s searches more flexible and fruitful. We, therefore, again return to content, which has to be always appropriate and not some ambiguous chunks of information put together.
The Humming Benefits and Link-building
Hummingbird is all about churning out modern-day search results for the current users. One principle: reader first, keyword second. Link-building is still on, but resorting to just that would land you in trouble. Google has become smarter with Hummingbird. It recognizes the not-so-relevant-or-quality link and this would produce bad impacts on your SEO techniques. What you can do is, keep building proper links as you have been, keeping in mind the fact that you have to come up with:
- User-friendly and excellent content (Make an embedded mental note)
- Know your target audience and what they are looking for
- Try providing your content to appropriate online communities (No flashy advertising)
- Do not overdo your link-building
All you need to do right now is not lose your head over worrying and start conceptualizing your content. Rethink your strategies to enhance your prospects. Follow proper guidelines. Build a trendy website to suit your business requirements.
It’s not that difficult. Just follow your instincts and your abilities to be Hummingbird-ready.
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