What Google’s Hummingbird Update Means for Small Business
Google has made the largest search algorithm update since 2001. Named as ‘Hummingbird’ — which affects 90% of searches — aims to filter “fluff” content that is created solely for nabbing search engine optimization and instead deliver better, higher quality search results.
“The main reasons Google created the Hummingbird update revolve around the nature by which people search more frequently,” said Kenneth Wisnefski, president and CEO of WebiMax, an Internet marketing company. “Conversational search has become a large driver of the type of searches people search for, and the update provides a better result display to accommodate those requests.”
In practice, this means that users’ searches are becoming longer and more specific. Whereas prior search algorithms focused on keywords, the new algorithm will now focus on users’ intent by answering questions that they are asking in their searches.
How does Hummingbird affect businesses
“Hummingbird’s emphasis on conversational search queries and natural language parallels the growth voice powered search via iPhones and Android devices,” said Amy Leefe, a digital marketing consultant at Arketi Group, a high-tech B2B public relations and digital marketing agency. “Google has been driving toward deeper support for long-tail queries for some time, and Hummingbird takes this further by concentrating on answers versus data.”
So businesses should think, how customers are using the Internet to find products and services and hence focus on conversational search content rather than keyword phrases.
Although this is helpful for users, it can do a disservice to businesses, Evans said. With this feature, Google not only scrapes content from other websites to display information on search pages, but the process also promotes a Google-only user experience.