Google has been trying several updates since it was introduced, forming, and reforming the ranking factors to be better. The updates that had been coming were not officially announced most of the time, and even when they were, Google made sure to put them into the test for nearly a month without informing the SEO community. Google’s updates were never harmful to those who were already following legal and ethical practices of search engine optimization but always came as whiplash to those who did not. What Google usually did was an update and make changes to the same algorithms that existed since 1998, which would be Google Panda and Google Penguin. New updates were always a more sophisticated version of what was already there, with a few changes made to each of them. But in 2013, Google introduced a whole new algorithm called Google hummingbird. Just like the name suggests, this algorithm was a rapid swap from the old algorithm and was faster and neater than any of the versions that existed previously. This significant change made to the industry of SEO made things harder for SEO consultants because with the more precise, swifter version of the ranking algorithm, fewer mistakes were allowed, and a better SEO strategy was expected.
Search engine optimization is a sector that has faced many ups and downs throughout these years. With each update that Google decided to introduce, the role of SEO consultant kept changing, the same way it will keep changing in the future as well. It is their job to turn every change that comes with the updates into their favor. But some have been complaining that the previous versions of ranking algorithms, specifically Panda and Penguin, have resulted in losing a lot of traffic for many websites. On the contrary, the Hummingbird update was never a reason to whine about, except that it required the websites to be precisely web user-oriented.
Functions of the Hummingbird update
Hummingbird is an algorithm update with more precision and speed than the rest of the updates that were out before. The main difference of this update that sets it apart from the previous algorithms is that Hummingbird focuses on conversational search. This means that instead of paying attention to individual keywords, this update focuses on the whole search query. The new tendency of web users is to search long-tail keywords instead of short ones so that the search engine results pages (SERPs) would give a comprehensive collection of results with multiple information points in one place. There are two major search engine characteristics the Hummingbird update influenced; one being the knowledge graph, the other being semantic search.
Why do you need a professional seo consultant ?
- Knowledge Graph: The knowledge graph is a long box that appears on the right side of the SERP, which contains quick facts, precise answers, and related subjects to the search query. For example, if you type “pizza” to the search bar, you would get a knowledge graph with a description of the dish, nutrition facts, ingredients, and other related searches. The knowledge graph icon one hand is very beneficial to web users because it summarizes what the user wants to know. On the other hand, the user who is satisfied with what the Google Knowledge Graph tells them would not bother to scroll down and click on a website. This way, there is a higher tendency of the websites losing their traffic, but it has not been recorded as commonly as it had with the Panda and Penguin updates of Google.
- Semantic search: Semantic search is Google’s way of rationalizing the search results linguistically. Taking the overall intentions of typing a search query into account, the search results do not just stick to the individual keywords. Google takes the entirety of the search query. Therefore when you type in “pizza”, you would also get the recipes, types, shops, and traditions related to eating and making it.
Hummingbird Going Live
Google likes to play around a bit before launching its updates. The official launch of the Hummingbird update was announced in September 2013, but the update has been out in the open since August 2013. After trying it out, Google decided that the changes the update made to the SEO platform are for the greater good.
Hummingbird And Local Search
This update was one of the ways Google approached the optimization of local search engine results. The local search results were listed down as a directory instead of as one search result in one box, so that you can choose according to the best of your interest. Organic search results would be localized to the maximum level with the hummingbird update, and any local search results that did not show up with the earlier update were guaranteed a place with the Hummingbird update.
Hummingbird And Voice Search
Hummingbird update was especially designed to improve the space for voice search. The voice search was made much easier with the update. By way of illustration, search queries that were voiced in day to day spoken language are identified today as a result of the update. Earlier it was limited to keywords. The novel acceptance of conversational search queries was a leap in Google’s ranking factors. Hummingbird update was versatile, and it was a timely advancement that was a much awaited necessity in the world of SEO.
Is SEO Dead Now?
Answering shortly, hell no. Search Engine Optimization simply means increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic. SEO happens in organic, or else the non-paid search engine results. There is a reported higher tendency in people clicking on organic results than on paid advertisements. Therefore, SEO carries bigger chances in optimizing website traffic. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Ask occupy a frequently changing set of technological parameters and algorithms to display companies in their search results pages. The placing of your website in the results page is decided mainly on the density of keywords, key phrases, and relevance of content on your site. On one end, your website should fulfill the requirements of the audience who clicks your link, and on the other, it should be understood by the search engine crawlers/spiders. Many people argue that with the changing algorithms Google has been updating, the role of SEO has become less and less prominent. What actually happens is the opposite of this. With Google’s Hummingbird, the act of optimizing related and quality content is finally rewarded. No wonder the SEO companies who had been doing a great job so far by stuffing keywords and copying content were devastated by the launch of the Hummingbird update. The on-site and off-site SEO strategies are still highly popular, and there is nothing about SEO that needs to be changed because of the Hummingbird update. If you have an SEO agency that is negative about this Google algorithm, you might want to rethink your choice.
Things That Must Change With The Hummingbird UpdateWith the update that reserved a bigger portion to the entire search query instead of a selected keyword, there are some steps you must trust your SEO consultant to do. Write blog posts that answer the common questions web users have. Focus more on the relationship you build with the people who use the web. With Hummingbird update, there is a heavy-weight placed in pleasing the customers. A website must target web users, and Google will be pleased accordingly. Use schema.org and rich text markups as your common types of data. After all, the Hummingbird update is a reminder to every SEO company that search engine optimization should be focused on people rather than Google.
Overlooking The Hummingbird Update
Google Hummingbird update was the reminder sent to all website owners and SEO companies that succeed in the SEO industry solely depend on understanding what the web users want and delivering search results that would satisfy them. Looking at individual keywords was the concept that was neglected here, and the new concept of focusing on the long-tailed keywords and conversational searches.
The Hummingbird update gives priority to natural and spoken languages rather than the standardized forms of searching Google. As the web users have neglected to use the so-called correct forms of language and converted their search queries into conversational ones, Google saw the necessity of making their search engine compatible. The old ways of focusing solely on technical terms and keywords were replaced with a more didactic view that allows the web users to search whatever words they want. Google started adapting its search results to fit the common requirement of the conversational web user. It must be noted that what comes with the Hummingbird update must not be viewed negatively, because the ultimate goal of Google is to make the users happy, not the SEO agent. It is the duty of your SEO consultant to take every change in good stride and optimize the web pages to please the web users.