Does Hummingbird Make Search Hum?

Google’s primary business is to help people find specific information quickly.  They are constantly updating their algorithm to, in their view, do this better.  Hummingbird is a major upgrade to Google’s search capability.  Launched in the fall of 2013, it is Google’s new search algorithm designed to return better results.  In fact, the name comes from being precise and fast.

One of the biggest ways Hummingbird impacts search is through “conversational search”.  We generally speak in longer phrases than the typical keyword.  We often ask questions in the form of a complete sentence.  Such as, “What’s the best way to hire a Denver based SEO Consultant?”  The traditional model would look for pages that match the words rather than the meaning such as “Denver” or “Consultant”.  Hummingbird takes the whole sentence into account and looks for pages that match the meaning of the search query.

The new algorithm will force companies to rethink their online content strategy.  Content should map the target audience’s thought process.  The goal of your content strategy should seek to help people rather than make the search engines happy.  Think about all the reasons why someone is searching on a topic rather than the literal topic.  In our example above, this person may want tips on hiring a Denver SEO consultant.  They may want to know how to manage that relationship.  They may want to know how to structure the contract.   If your online content takes a broader view and provides robust content, Google will take notice.

Content that goes beyond the words and provides intended information should achieve better visibility in Google’s search results.  Your prospective clients will then see you as the place to go for answers.  And, you end up with a strong pool of share-worthy content on social media which will further boost your credibility with search engines.