What is Hummingbird and How Does it Affect SEO?

Google is the most popular search engine used today, and in order to ensure it is providing its users with the best possible search results, it is constantly changing its algorithm.

Google knows that some websites like to “cheat” in order to earn a higher ranking, so the popular search engine is constantly changing the way they rank their websites in order to ensure that these cheaters are not reaping any benefits.

Recently, Google changed its algorithm to Hummingbird. Unlike the last Google algorithm update, Hummingbird is not aimed at punishing the cheaters, but instead aimed at providing better, more fine-tuned results. If you want to improve your search engine optimization, the following are three ways to take advantage of the Google Hummingbird search update.

1. Ensure your website is optimized for mobile.

Throughout their research, Google found that the majority of their users are now accessing search results mostly through their mobile devices instead of their stationary computers. Users are more likely to turn to Siri or other search aids to provide search results. Because of this, it’s very important that your website is optimized for mobile. Since these users are using tablets and smartphones to perform search results, they want to be able to access websites through these devices as well. If your website is not optimized for mobile, you will have a hard time earning and keeping traffic.

2. Add local content to your website.

Google Hummingbird is putting a bigger emphasis on location. Through geolocation technology, they are now able to tell specifically where a person is located when performing a search, and they use this information to tailor results to their location. Now, when a user performs a search looking for a restaurant, results are going to appear in their specific area instead of around the globe.

In order to take advantage of this new feature, it’s important that you add local content to your website. Make sure that your contact information can be found on your website, and you should also add in content that relates to your location, such as nearby landmarks, roads or buildings. The more local content you can add, the more likely your website will appear in front of nearby searchers.

It’s also a good idea for you to join local online directories. Reach out to your chamber of commerce and your village to get on their online directories. You should also join review sites like Yelp and online directories like Google Places to enhance your local reach.

3. Use conversational content

The content you provide on your website is essential to take advantage of Google Hummingbird; however, you no longer have to place a major emphasis on the right keywords. Instead, you want to ensure that your content is conversational in tone. Since Google realized that users were more likely to use mobile for search, they also realized that these users are more likely to ask full questions instead of choppy keywords. For example, instead of typing in “sushi restaurant Chicago”, they will ask “Where can I find a sushi restaurant in Chicago?”

Because of this, Google Hummingbird is putting an emphasis on conversational content. Their goal is to provide users with verbatim search results instead of results containing similar words. Instead of receiving results that contain the words “sushi”, “restaurant” or “Chicago”, you will now receive words that actually relate to sushi restaurants in Chicago.

If you don’t have time to change out all of your website copy, there are a few ways to still add conversational tone to your site. First, you can add an FAQs section to your website. This will allow you to add conversational content that your audience may actually ask, and you can use this content to boost your SEO.

You can also transcribe multimedia files. These files tend to be conversational in tone, but the search engines cannot crawl through them, so it doesn’t help your SEO. However, if you were to place a professional-quality transcription of all your multimedia files on your website, the search engines will be able to crawl through the content and use it to rank your site. And since it’s conversational, it will boost your SEO even more.

Rahul Yadav

Rahul Yadav is Digital Marketing consultant and Expert in Delhi, India. He provides SEO, Social Media Marketing & PPC Consulting Services worldwide. Contact at gitm.rahul@gmail.com

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