Whether you are a nuance or a veteran at understanding search engines and their algorithms, chances are you know that the major players, such as Google, update the way that they index the information they display to you from time to time. The Penguin and Panda changes have continued to update, almost on a daily basis, for years now. So, what is all the buzz about a hummingbird? In August of 2013, Google rolled out Hummingbird, the algorithm they considered to be the most precise and fastest yet.
Out With The Old
Penguin and Panda updates to the old algorithm are no more. Hummingbird is the new algorithm, and the biggest benefit to starting fresh is that major changes have taken place. Not the same type of changes as the 2010 Caffeine Update that helped Google gather better information, but ones that will directly impact users. The most beneficial change with Hummingbird was the conversational search it included.
As more and more people are speaking their searches into their smartphones or devices, this change was a necessity as Hummingbird searches for the meaning behind the query rather than a literal search. Now we know what you are thinking, ‘Wasn’t that already in use?’ The answer is sort of. The parts of the prior algorithm that were working perfectly well were kept and rearranged to serve the most current user models.
How Has The Change Changed SEO?
If you were using Google best practices, meaning you placed the users and content at the forefront of your SEO strategy, you saw no real change. What mattered in July still matters in January. Optimize for Mobile Devices. This is going to continue to be crucial to any SEO strategy, and in the foreseeable future as well. Well Structured Data Markup. Continue to provide accurate information to about page content, it helps click-through rates tremendously when you display rich snippets. Content is Still King. Keywords are not dead and quality content must include at least some degree of keyword optimization. Google Plus. If you want Google to identify with your brand online and connect it you should be using Google’s social network, Google+, it will help you rank better. Links are Still Needed. While Google continues to discourage link farms, gaining links from the right places will help Google understand the concepts of your pages and their credibility.
All-in-all the rules haven’t changed, but the way that we view the rules and apply them will continue to change, at least with Google. Google’s goal has remained the same, and so should yours, to give the users, those individuals performing searches, the answer and results they want.
We would love to hear about how the Hummingbird update has changed your SEO strategy or searches in the comments section below.