Google have recently announced the long awaited arrival of their latest new algorithm, not surprisingly named ‘Hummingbird’ which follows ‘Panda’ and ‘Penguin’. Whilst currently details of what exactly this update involves are a little scarce, it’s clear that it will mean big changes for the world of search. So what is expected of the Hummingbird update and is there anything we can do to to ensure our rankings stay the same or even increase?
Mobile Is Key
Increasingly so weight has been put on the importance of optimising for mobile and Hummingbird is set to make that weight even heavier. Mobile search was mentioned a lot in the announcement of the new update and it’s clear that the use of mobile search is ever expanding, particularly when It comes to searching for local businesses such as restaurants etc.
Through the Hummingbird update Google have proposed to launch voice search. With smart phone features such as Siri the search engine has taken into account this new way in which we search and the convenience of it. Because of this it is essential that content is optimised for mobile search as the usage is set to increase as the search engine makes searching more and more convenient for mobile users.
The update has been hailed to be ‘precise and fast’ and so appropriately named ‘Hummingbird’. Through this update Google are pushing for results of an increased intelligence. Results are no longer primarily keyword based, but context will now be taken into consideration too.
In order to do this Google have created the ‘Knowledge Graph’ which enables the search engine to understand that different words or searches have different meanings. This will result in the search engine presenting the user with the different context options, allowing the user to select what exactly they are looking for resulting in more accurate results.
Of course key words are still essential, but the meaning behind the keywords is now accountable for which will have to be taken into consideration for SEO strategies.
We’ve all heard a lot about Google authorship over the last year or so, and it’s always been somewhat important and certainly worth putting into practice but Hummingbird means it’s going to be essential to achieve top rankings.
Google is putting an increase on the importance of content being helpful and from a trusted source and therefore authorship is a must. As mentioned previously Hummingbird also aims to increase accuracy, this means for those using content marketing the strategy may need to be revised. Google is looking for helpful content that provides answers. For the online marketer this means addressing in more depth what your customers and the public want to know about your industry and increasing how helpful your content is.
SMO- The New SEO?
For some time now we have been aware that social signals are influential in SEO but this is the first we have heard of ‘SMO’ which stands for ‘social media optimisation’. Because of the increased importance of social sharing and social signals it is highly likely that Google will introduce a social layer to their new algorithm.
If you’re not taking advantage of social media platforms and encouraging social sharing now is the time to do so as the importance of social signals is set to increase further and SMO becomes an important part of SEO.
Cause For Concern?
Whilst Hummingbird may effect some, as the majority of the changes are to the search engine its self there is no need to worry about rankings and on site optimisation. When a new update takes place it is all too easy to jump to conclusions and change site copy and title tags in response to what we’ve heard but in this case it’s not necessary. Be social, be helpful and take into account the increased accuracy of search for the future and Hummingbird should be a positive update for yourself and your website