Guest Post – Our host is Louise Harper, here Louise will run you through he latest Google algorithm update and how it will affect your blog.See How To Become a guest author on Spice Up Your Blog.
The Internet is agog with talk of the Hummingbird update so when the guys at Spice up your Blog suggested I cover this as a topic I jumped at the chance as it would give me a chance to fully understand what it is all about and hopefully help educate you, the reader. I quickly realised I needed some expert assistance if I was to unearth what the Hummingbird was all about so I called a ‘techy’ friend of mine who works at a creative agency in London. Big thanks to Ben for his time and I hope you enjoy this article and learn everything you could need to know about Google’s latest update.
On August 30, 2013 Google launched a brand new search algorithm called Hummingbird. For those of you who don’t know, an algorithm is what Google uses to sort through websites in order to return the best answers to search queries. In a way you could think of it like a spell. It combines lots of different elements in order to concoct the desired results. In this post we will explain the purpose of Hummingbird and how it will affect us bloggers.
|Google named their new algorithm Hummingbird as the two have speed and precision in common.|
Not another algorithm!
Oh yes, we’re afraid so. As you may already know, Google regularly designs new algorithms like Hummingbird, Panda and Penguin in order to improve the quality of the search results they provide. Although Panda and Penguin lead to many changes for website owners and bloggers, Google claims that Hummingbird may possibly be the biggest algorithm change since the early 2000s!
One of the best analogies of Hummingbird we have come across is a comparison to a car engine. Whilst the old car engine may have worked fine, it wasn’t offering the efficiency and output that a newer engine could offer. If you think of the old algorithm as the old engine and Hummingbird as the new engine, you’ll get the hang of where we are going with this.
If you are wondering what has happened to the much talked about Panda and Penguin, then you will be pleased to know they are still being used as part of Hummingbird. Basically Hummingbird is making use of the parts of old algorithms which worked well and has replaced the parts that were not up to scratch. Google claims that the new algorithm is capable of serving the search demands of today, rather than what was required a decade or so ago.
Google carries out the act of being sneaky pretty well and appeared to get away with launching Hummingbird back in August with us being none the wiser until early October.
Purpose of Hummingbird
Google designed Hummingbird to deal with ‘long tail’ search queries which are becoming more and more widely used. Developments in voice activated technology have influenced the need for search engines to be able to handle more conversational-like queries. Whilst it is still in the early stages of handling long tail and conversational search queries, the aim is that Hummingbird will be able to return high quality search results that will have geographical relevance to a user’s location.
Benefits of Hummingbird
They key benefit of Hummingbird lies in its ability to handle conversational search queries. The rise in mobile Internet usage over the last few years has influenced more and more people to speak searches conversationally, rather than just typing phrases. Hummingbird has been designed to focus on the meaning of the words spoken to it, matching pages to the meanings, rather than just matching words. By considering all of the words in a search query, rather than single keywords, it should be able to produce more accurate and relevant results.
|An increasing number of people now perform searches using the voice activated technology on their smartphones.|
Changes to SEO
New algorithms usually send website owners and content creators into a state of panic, however so far there have not been any reports that suggest we should dramatically change what we are doing. Google’s guidelines for creating unique, high quality content have remained the same. Social signals are also still extremely important, so keep this in mind when creating content for your blog. You should be aiming to produce interesting and engaging blog posts that will captivate readers’ attention and influence them to share it with their peers via social media.
Things for bloggers to keep in mind
In light of the new algorithm and improvements in conversational search queries, bloggers should be aiming to tailor their content to meet the basic needs and intentions of readers. In order to be able to produce unique content that addresses the needs of users, you need to have a clear idea of who you are targeting with your content and what they require from you. If you want to stand a better chance at showing up in search results you need to present yourself as an expert in your field. Whilst other Google signals will play a role in this, the ability to create in-depth content on a particular subject can also influence your authority as a blogger.
Although many bloggers and content creators fear new algorithms, we should actually embrace them as they help to filter out spam and ensure that users receive quality answers to their search queries. As bloggers we should be looking to adapt our keyword strategies for conversational queries and focus on producing authoritative, relevant content in order to keep up with the requirements of not only Hummingbird, but our readers too.
Have you had any first hand experiences of Hummingbird or noticed any drastic changes be that positive or negative? Let us know if the comments below.