What is Google Hummingbird?
Hummingbird is name for the new changes to Google’s search engine algorithm, which were announced last week. As noted by USA Today, “The new algorithm makes search results more relevant and useful, especially when users ask more complex questions — something that has been happening a lot more in recent years.”
What that means is that Google is looking for search terms in the way that people search in the age of Siri. Google will suggest and give more credence to long-tail search terms that more accurately reflect search terms a human might use in conversation, such as “Where can I go bowling in Chicago?”
Hummingbird also continues Google’s quest to become the main source of information, not just the portal to it. Now pulls and displays information inside of Google to answer many queries.
Search Engine Optimization Tips for Hummingbird
This is where I don’t think Hummingbird will change all that much with regard to SEO. The principals still hold true:
Create unique content for your website
Make your site a destination for new and interesting information. While Google can regurgitate common answers (like “how to change my oil”), but will not have cutting edge insights and entertaining content that can make your site standout. Keep producing new and interesting content!
Follow Tried and True SEO Optimization Practices
Make sure your header tags, meta title, meta description and image tags are all in place. These items will still be relevant, but you may need to change some of the terms used in the writing of these items.
Write Like a Human
As mentioned above, Google is striving to search in the way that users will ask questions. Think about how somebody might find the content of your page if they were talking to their phone. Use more keyword phrases that start with “How do I…” or “How to…” As always, thinking like a human and not a marketing machine is always best practice.
How Do I Search Optimize for Hummingbird?
The truth is that nobody knows, but adhering to the principles outlined above should help you stay on course despite a change in Google’s prevailing winds.