How will Google Hummingbird affect your website?

Google has quietly released a new algorithm called Hummingbird (in October 2013). It will affect how businesses prepare content for their websites.

When Hummingbird was officially launched Google senior vice-president Amit Singhal said that the algorithm will make better use of more complex search requests. Google can now respond better to the subtleties of human language instead of only responding to a few recognisable words. The new algorithm is being billed as a big step forward in Internet searching.

How will Hummingbird change the way we write content for websites so that our content is better found by Google?

Remember content really is king

Ever since I have been working in the web industry, content has been “king”. We know that Google is trying to find the content that the users want. Google therefore, by definition has always tried to reward good content. Hummingbird simply makes it easier to target the content that the user wants.

Provide current, updated and popular content

Google rewards and promotes sites that offer general and well-rounded coverage of their topics. This supports our content marketing approach that aims to deliver regular and high quality content that other sites will link to. These factors improve the search profile so the sites that are current, popular and active will perform better in searches.

Use high-quality, well written content

Website owners need to make sure that their web content is high quality and well-written. This means original, clear, written for the audience and presented in an accessible easy-to-navigate structure.

Include long-tail keywords

Hummingbird concentrates on whole queries rather than individual words. This means that individual keywords become less important than phrases and questions. Hummingbird is better able to interpret questions so it can find more specific and more complex answers. We have to write content with the searchers’ questions in mind (good writers always put the reader first).

Include more specific page content

Hummingbird is more page-specific than the previous algorithm. It will deliver users to the most appropriate page of a website, rather than to the home page or higher-level pages. Therefore more comprehensive sites with detailed information pages will be rewarded.

Adapt language for mobile queries

Hummingbird is also mobile-friendly. Hummingbird is programmed to respond to voice commands from such programs as Siri. Voice commands use a different, less formal type of command. This means that web content has to match more closely the form of spoken English commands. This relates to long-tail keywords in that there will be longer commands that are more complex and specific.

We look forward to the advances in Google searching. The better it gets the higher the rewards for good websites.