Written by Jessica Ann on December 23rd, 2013
What You Need to Know About Google Hummingbird
Hummingbird is the name Google calls its new search algorithm (the thing that determines which results to display when a user types in a search), and it means a lot for your website. Google says the name Hummingbird is used because of the “fast and precise” birds that we find in nature. So let’s have a look at the hummingbird so that we can get a better understanding of Hummingbird.
Agile, Vigorous And Sexually Potent
Hummingbirds are one of the smallest species of birds in the world. But they’re able to flap their wings incredibly fast (this is where the hum comes from) which allows them to reach flight speeds of 34 miles per hour. And they are the only birds that can fly backwards. It is these impressive abilities that led to the Aztecs revering these birds to the extent that they wore them as a talisman. To the Aztecs, hummingbirds represented vigor, energy, skill in battle, and sexual potency.
Google’s Hummingbird has nothing to do with sexual potency (as far as we know, although there are probably Google fetishists out there somewhere). But the other characteristics of the hummingbird are important to discuss in order to get a better understanding of this new algorithm.
Hummingbird is a more vigorous attempt by the search kings in Google to be more human. Up until now when a user typed in a search query Google would pick out what it considered to be keywords. It used those words to go hunting for websites that might be what the user was looking for, and displayed those websites in its results.
But the search engine didn’t really understand what the user was asking. With Hummingbird Google can now better understand the context of a search query. The search engine is working harder and in a more agile and energetic way to deliver results that actually answer the user’s query, rather than looking at keywords in isolation and making an educated guess.
This means that Hummingbird is more than a search algorithm update – it’s a vigorous and energetic attempt to up the skill level, react to a user’s search, and deliver better results. Knowing the details of Google Hummingbird will help you keep up with the Joneses of SEO.
What Does It Mean For Website Owners
Google has always had a simple message for website owners: concentrate on users. That advice applies to Hummingbird more than any other algorithm or update that has been released in the last 15 years.
Google does not want you to over-optimize your pages and websites purely for search results IF your website or page does not answer the searcher’s query. Remember that all Google cares about is the searcher. It has no loyalty, contract or responsibility to websites or website owners. This is good news if you’re a true beginner building a new website.
To stay high in the search results you need to focus on the user too. This all comes down to content. Hummingbird loves in-depth, good quality and original content because that is what users want. So the best way for you to deal with Hummingbird is to create good content.
SEO Is Dead, Long Live SEO
SEO is not dead: instead it is changing to an action that can be more accurately described as marketing – creating good content and then marketing your website with meaning. You can do this by telling people about it in the hope that they read, watch, listen, like it, and then share it (by links, social media, etc.)
So it all starts with content. And here is the secret: It’s not Google’s algorithm that needs to become more like a hummingbird – it’s you and your website. Websites will be successful if they work hard for the user; are energetic in creating good content; become fast and agile in responding to user’s needs; and then become skilled in content marketing.
Do you have any questions about Google’s Hummingbird? Please comment via Social Media.