content marketing agency and hummingbird update

On September 27th, Google released its latest attempt to replicate human behavior. It’s a big update, the largest since 2001.

The key facts:

  1. Google Hummingbird makes the search giant more of a context-based search engine. Google wants to more fully understand the bigger idea of your search, the context, when you make a request. Then they’ll use that to supply the best answer.
  2. At the same time, Google Analytics stopped providing intelligence on the phrases used when people clicked to your website. Companies like ion Leap used that information to guide what we wrote. We built a certain density of a phrase into the text so Google would understand what we were writing about and rank us for certain searches.
    With this update, if you write with specific key phrases, it won’t benefit you as much as if you do deeper writing in a more general way about the overall topic. More on that here.

How this should change your behavior:

  1. Not much. Keep putting up great content and sharing it via social media – including Google+ – and you’ll get ranked. Now you should focus more on answering the questions consumers might have rather than working in the phrases they use to search. This will make the newly context-centric Google algorithm happy.
  2. Take more time to create content. Quality is of higher value than frequency.
  3. Sign up for and vigorously work at Google+. This is no longer an option. Your goal must be to build up your own, and your team’s, AuthorRank. Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google said, “Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification…” Critical information on that here.
  4. Remember that Google owns YouTube. They’re using the same search logic. Their goals are the same. When you think of content, think beyond just a blog post.
  5. Remember “long tail key phrases?” While you shouldn’t be spamming such phrases into your copy, begin to use phrases that do a better job of answering the real context of a search.

And that is 340 words.

Further Reading

Good information here by Rick Egan of Search Engine Journal

Adam Stetzer of Search Engine Land with a great article plus what is probably the first infographic on this

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