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What does Google Hummingbird mean for your business?

What does Google Hummingbird mean for your Business

by Cath Hains | Webfresh | 9 Dec 2013

What is Hummingbird?

Google Hummingbird logo

Google announced recently that it has completely rewritten its main search engine algorithm and named it Hummingbird.

How does this affect your website?

Hummingbird will affect 90% of searches.  It is likely to be around for up to ten years and so business owners need to understand how it works to ensure potential customers can find them easily.

What can you do?

Google has given plenty of clues as to what it wants now and in the future.  Some of the main ones that I’d like to share with you are:

#1. Know your customers well:

As a key part of Hummingbird, Google has vastly improved its understanding of natural language.  It now considers every word entered into a search, meaning it can better use natural and conversational searches.  It better understands the intent of the searcher.

Tip:  Build detailed profiles of your customers and know what they are likely to ask. Create content on your website that matches the intent of your customers.

#2. Create relevant content – research topics and not just keywords:

Google’s improved understanding of natural language means it has a deeper understanding of the relationship between keywords that form topics.

Keywords still matter but they don’t rank on their own: the context is becoming more important.

Tip: When you optimise website content you need to first research which keywords you wish to target, think about your customers’ search intent and create relevant content that not only sells your products or services but also answers questions your customers might have before they are ready to buy.  This link will show you how to use Google Keyword Planner.

#3. Act like an author and less like an SEO

It’s no longer just about keywords and webpages; you need to become an authority within your industry.  You can do this by having your customers’ interest at heart, through educating and/or entertaining them; and once you have built trust, you can sell to them too.  Being an authority means becoming an industry expert.  Google wants to identify and reward the expert authors for each industry.

Tip: Build in-depth expert articles and set yourself up on Google Authorship

#4. Think and act like a brand

People remember brands. People trust brands. And most importantly, people have emotional bonds with brands and tell their friends about them.

‘ Brands are the solution, not the problem.

Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.’

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google

The internet is a level playing field which means small-time brands can make it big more often than you might think.

Tip: Have a clear purpose and vision and build trust through expert content

#5. Avoid trying to trick Google

Make sure you know the rules and respect Google’s SEO guidelines

What does all this mean for your business?

  • Build a search engine friendly website (eg WordPress)
  • Create good, relevant content
  • Build your website reputation by creating the sort of content that people want to read and share.
  • Focus on being trustworthy and relevant – Google tweaks its algorithm daily to ensure the websites that it considers are trustworthy and relevant will benefit

Webfresh has created this blog to highlight the importance of recent Google changes, using the information provided by a number of articles and websites that focus on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).