So how has Google’s Hummingbird update affected SEO?

8th November 2013 in SEO

If you weren’t already aware, Google recently introduced Hummingbird. “Yet another update,” I hear you say. Well yes, but this is the first time a completely new algorithm has been implemented since 2011, and has, reputedly, impacted 90% of search queries.

But how exactly?Although a completely new algorithm, the visible impact has actually been less significant than the Penguin update in 2012.

In contrast to previous updates, Hummingbird is a more fundamental upgrade of Google’s capabilities and, as such, the impact will be more gradual.

One of the most important changes is that Hummingbird allows Google to understand the searcher’s requirements better, with the ability to have a better understanding of human language and words such as ‘how’, ‘why’, ‘where’ and ‘when’ and the intent behind these searches. This enables Google to deal with more complex, long-tail queries more effectively.

As consumers, our expectations of the internet and Google are ever-more demanding. We want things quicker and more accurate. If we search for ‘What was No.1 on 1 January 1973?’ (my birthday if you’re curious) then we don’t want to have to trawl through reams of irrelevant search results.

If you’re interested I’ve done the search and top of the list was: http://www.onlineweb.com/theones/1970_1974.htm and I quickly found that Little Jimmy Osmond’s Long Haired Lover from Liverpool was No.1 when I was born.

Equally Google uses its knowledge graph to answer questions such as a query like ‘How tall is Mount Everest’ returns the search result: 29,029 (8,848 m) Mount Everest, Elevation.

It stands to reason, therefore, that this will affect SEO in ways including:

  • Better results for conversational searches
  • Decline of short-tail
  • Emphasis on content rather than keywords
  • Improved search functionality.

As we continue to stress to our clients, ‘content is king’. It may be an over-used phrase but it is valid and never more so. The delivery of excellent content, optimised for long-tail semantically-related keywords, accessible across multiple devices is key to future online success.

More from the blog

Card Wow

18th May 2017 in Web Design and Development, SEO, Digital Strategy, Apps

By Chris Bardsley

What is the best eCommerce platform : Shopwired vs Shopify vs Magento

Shopwired, Shopify and Magento each offer similar solutions for businesses to sell their products online, however, there are two factors to consider. The first is the time it takes for you to set your store up, and the second is the ease in how your website will expand as your business does. In our experience, Shopify outperforms the competition on both as a result of its simple user interface, and the ability to customise elements to tailor the system to your particular business.

Read article chevron_right
How To Secure Your Website Through HTTPS SSL Certificate

27th April 2017 in Web Design and Development, SEO, Digital Strategy

By Chris Bardsley

How to secure your website through HTTPS & SSL Certificates

We rely on the internet for everything from talking with friends and checking the latest news, to ordering the weekly food shop and registering details for a new passport. We put highly confidential information on the internet sometimes without thinking twice, but now the focus has been put on websites to protect our information.

Read article chevron_right