What is Google’s Hummingbird Update & Why is it Important for Content Marketers?

By November 5, 2013Content Marketing, SEO
STRYDE | What is Google's Hummingbird Update & Why is it Important for Content Marketers?

In August of this year, Google secretly rolled out a completely new search algorithm called Hummingbird. Although a brilliant way to generate search results, it may require some content marketers to rethink how they’re creating content. Don’t worry though; we’ve got your back. Below you’ll read how Hummingbird differs from algorithms past as well as four tips on how to write Hummingbird friendly content.

Hummingbird is unlike any algorithm before it. It allows the searcher to use conversational language in their queries as well as standard keywords, making it easier to find what you’re hoping to find.

Prior to Hummingbird, the only way to search was to come up with a search query and guess which keywords Google wants you to type in so as to produce the most relevant results possible. For example, a query such as, “What’s the best way to get people to my website?” would need to have been whittled down to something like “increase website traffic.”

With Hummingbird, the searcher doesn’t have to whittle anything down. It understands both the context and the content (the keywords) of a conversational query such as this, meaning, the words “get people to” is equal to the keyword “traffic.” By considering both the context and content of a conversational query, Hummingbird produces more relevant search results from less specific search queries.

In order for your content to be Hummingbird friendly, follow the four tips below.

High Quality Content

This aspect of writing for the web hasn’t changed. Hummingbird still seeks out original, high quality content; it just recognizes its relevancy differently.

Address Their Needs and Wants

Consult your Google Analytics to figure out what your audience is reading on your site and what keywords they use to find it. Then, thoroughly cover those topics while using a mixture of topical and contextually relevant keywords.

This will produce meaningful content that can be easily found regardless of the search query format used.

Use More Long-tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are going to have more similarity to a conversational query than shorter keywords. Using them will increase the relevance of your content.

Write for Mobile

Forty-six percent of adults use their smartphones to search. With the increase in mobile search comes an increase in voice search; something that’s easier done by conversational query. So, it’s crucial that you write content that can be found through these queries and read on the go. Try making it short and to the point.

Overall, Hummingbird isn’t bad for content marketers. By putting a bit more effort into addressing needs and wants and using contextually relevant keywords, you can easily make your content highly relevant to peoples’ searches. Increased relevance to more searches means an increase in your audience.

About Greg Shuey

Greg is a member of the executive team at Stryde and a seasoned digital marketer who has worked with thousands of businesses, large and small, to generate more revenue via online marketing strategy and execution. Greg has written hundreds of blog posts as well as spoken at many events about online marketing strategy. You can follow Greg on Twitter. Circle him on Google+, and connect with him on LinkedIn

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