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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to presenting older information, search engines would now look to deliver web pages that explain why your search is obsolete, and what you instead should be searching for.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.