What is Google Hummingbird and How Does it Affect me?

In the first major update to their algorithm since 2001, Google recently announced the implementation of the new Hummingbird update. In the ongoing quest to make their system think like a human, these updates help even further weed out sites with canned, outdated content. While the last Google updates Panda and Penguin only affected about 5% of searches, Hummingbird is expected to impact 20% of all searches—a number that even further illustrates how important it is to know what this means for you.

How is Google Hummingbird Different?

One of the changes Google has made is that their algorithm will be better at picking up on specific questions people are typing in to give them direct answers. For example, in the past, if someone typed in “Where can I buy a new cell phone close to me?” they would probably see a list of the most popular cell providers whether they had a brick and mortar shop in the area or were solely an online shop.

With the new Hummingbird update, Google will now display the most relevant results and focus on the “close to me” part of the query instead of just the “buy cell phone” they would have focused on previously. People have transitioned to typing in direct questions when searching, so Google wanted to be sure to evolve to match their users. This will be huge for Google to provide results that exactly match what their users are looking for and gain back some of the trust they lost before they penalized people for keyword stuffing.

How Will I be Affected?

Unless you have a website with the same key words stuffed on every page and the information hasn’t been updated since you built your own website in 2005, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about. This update again reiterates the message that content is king. If you have descriptive information on the terms you are targeting, you don’t have much to worry about and this new update could help you even more and reward you for providing useful information.

If you have a website that is promoting home loans for people, you might want to ensure that you have pages that will answer questions like “How much of a down payment is required for an FHA loan” or “What is the maximum I can borrow for a conventional loan in Dallas”. While you don’t have to worry about matching content for each different question someone may type in, this may help you figure out what content to put in based on what questions people would need answered when researching the service you can provide.

The main takeaway from the newest update is this is a chance to review your website if you haven’t done so in a long time. Do you have pages with outdated information? Do you have pages with incomplete information? Now would be a great time to go through the site page by page and ensure all of your information is current and make any updates that are needed. If you are not sure if your content is the best, 220 Marketing is always happy to give tips to clients and feedback on anything that we think can be improved. Our SEO experts will help take a look at all you have done and point you in the right direction. We even have packages where we can update the website for you and make sure you are putting your best content foot forward.