Google released a new search algorithm this month. Meet Hummingbird, your new, more sophisticated search engine.
Google is continually evolving its search engine and every update it releases creates a frenzy among content marketers. It’s easy to feel that just as you master one algorithm, a new set of rules is put in place, threatening to undo all your work to boost your brand’s rankings in Google search results.
But don’t panic—we’ve got all you need to know about Hummingbird for online content marketing wrapped into four points.
This is an entirely new search engine. Other Google releases in recent years like Penguin and Panda were updates, making changes to a piece of the algorithm. Hummingbird is replacing the former algorithm entirely. But don’t panic, the new system is built on the same basic principles. There have been no signs of dramatic search result ranking upheavals.
Hummingbird is geared to mobile search. This doesn’t change where you land it search results, but take it as an indicator of how searchers will be looking at your site. Mobile web access is on the rise, and studies indicate mobile could outpace desktops as the most common connection to the Internet by 2015. If your brand’s platform isn’t already optimized for mobile, the time to do that is right now.
It’s also is better optimized for vocal search. This goes hand-in-hand with mobile (think iPhone’s Siri), and it’s another indicator of where future tech tools are headed. But what’s it mean for SEO? In short, it means search is getting closer to how we really talk. The algorithm is paying more attention to every word in the search, and its context in the full conversation. (Copyblogger gives a great example of what this looks like in practice.)
Content is still king. Hummingbird has the same goal as its predecessors: connecting web searchers to relevant, quality content. In fact, Hummingbird is reportedly better at recognizing high quality content and prioritizing that over content volume—good news for creators of truly great content.
The bottom line? Keep calm, write on. Google Hummingbird offers a more sophisticated search built for emerging tech trends and dedicated to more human-like language recognition. You can get the most of the new algorithm by making a mobile-optimized platform and top-notch content your priorities.