An SEO guide to Google Hummingbird


What is Hummingbird?

Like Panda and Penguin before it, Hummingbird is the name of the latest and greatest update to the Google search algorithm. This dictates how, what, and where web content appears given any particular search term. Many existing and familiar features remain the same as before, whilst overs have been tweaked, removed, or reinvented. The most important and exciting change though, which I want to explain here, is the application of their smart semantic search feature, and what it means for SEO. 


Semantic search

The way search once worked required all parties to speak the language of the search engine. It was important for the content, but also for the searcher.

Today search engines are learning to speak human on all sorts of levels. This means that jargon, technical terminology, as well as slang can be picked up and understood more readily so as to be placed in the proper context.

Essentially what semantic search means is that rather than matching keywords from search terms to web pages, the underlying meaning is taken and analysed from both sides.

If you search for terms which have recently become obsolete without your knowledge, as opposed to presenting older information, search engines would now look to deliver web pages that explain why your search is obsolete, and what you instead should be searching for.


What this means for SEO

As always, the best SEO professionals need to stay ahead of the curve to keep up with search engines and this is no exception.

As mentioned precise word matching takes on slightly less of a role, and a greater need for Adword research takes it’s place. Also quality of content takes a centre stage in this new type of SEO. Your reputation will also become increasingly relevant to how search engines treat your content. Are you being well reviewed? do your customers or viewers return frequently? Are they sharing your links with others? All of these considerations now become crucial.

Google’s Smart Semantic Search Means Quality is (Finally) King

All of the biggest and best search engines are continually striving to improve their service for the customer, and to therefore provide the best service available. Recent developments in Google’s Hummingbird update are a big step forward, and it is essential to be up to date so that you can make the most for your SEO strategy.

There are a great many factors which go into deciding which pages will appear when a search term is entered, and where these pages will be placed. Conventional means like analysis of page-rank, and keyword use still feature as critical elements, but with a twist.

The new algorithm used by hummingbird makes the user experience far more conversational than ever. You can now easily type “great taxi firm nearby” as opposed to needing to rely on the location keywords. Further the more specific your search terms, the more google works to filter out irrelevant pages. It manages this by analysing content more than ever, by taking the gist of the content, the summary, or particular subjective viewpoints into consideration, the search engine can move away from keyword reliance to focus on precisely what the content explains.

All this means progress for how the web is used, though as a part of your SEO strategy it may mean more hard work for some. Repetitive, or low quality content will be discriminated against in favour of more clear, concise, and informative content. Be creative and diverse, make use of synonyms which rank highly in Adwords rather than drowning your viewer in the same keyword two dozen times per page.

Since the beginning of time (in SEO terms) content has been hailed as king, though there have always been ways that certain companies get around the requirement. Updates in how search engines work, particularly the smart semantic approach of hummingbird, seems as if we are heading very much in the direction where high quality becomes an absolute necessity.

What Local Internet Marketing means for Small Businesses

Most search engine entries looking for goods or services, particularly those where the consumer intends to make a purchase, will be looking for a point of sale that is local and therefore practical for them. Whether you own a clothes shop, or a cafe, most of your regular business will come from the local community. So how do you plug in and make the most of this demand in your local community?

Why is it important?
Local visibility is key for any business that might want their customer to know their whereabouts, which it would seem, probably covers pretty much all businesses. However for businesses which make direct face to face transactions I.e. The retail sector, this is a necessity.
SEO marketing is one of the most valuable and popular ways that companies reach their target audience. By considering your local area, SEO can be driven with an initiative to cater to your locals. Whether you sell online, or use your website to promote your small store, customers feel comfortable buying from local providers, so if your SEO only targets “ladies footwear” for example, you may be missing out on sales you would have gained by adding  “South London” to your keywords.

Take advantage
There are a number of location based services online to host your business information, google places, yelp, among others. These are for the most part completely free, and will catch anyone local to you who is in search of something that you sell. Making use of these fantastic free services will make sure your customer knows where you are, how to contact you, and even allows reviews to be left for new customers to see.

Make your voice heard
Get involved with local activities, sponsor school sports days or other local projects, and advertising your business through local community, and industry specific blogs. Most towns, or Burroughs will have websites dedicated to your local area, and it’s up to you to make the most of them.

Social Media presence
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media outlets are not going anywhere but up. If your business still isn’t making the most of social media then you really must. Having a strong Facebook account for your sandwich shop builds buzz, and your customers can even interact with you, and one another. Your social media campaign makes your customers feel like club members, maintaining a sense of store loyalty, and keeping a line contact between you and your customer.