To commemorate its 15th birthday at the end of last month, Google released the new Hummingbird search algorithm. Senior Vice President Amit Singhal said that the new algorithm has a better understanding of human languages and is capable of handling complex phrases, as opposed to random words. Though Google constantly tweaks its algorithm, Hummingbird is the only fundamental change the company has made to its search functionality since 2001.
How does the Hummingbird fly?
The new algorithm is geared toward conversational phrases that deliver more accurate search results, compared to traditional keywords. For example, instead of entering generic terms such as "website designer," users are now more likely to search for "who is the best website designer in Knoxville, TN." This type of search pushes companies with generic SEO to the bottom of the search results page, leaving more room for more specific and localized results.
Additionally, the new Hummingbird algorithm personalizes your search results when you're logged in to your Google account. Using information you submitted, it incorporates your location, social connections, search history, and more, making it easier for you to find the information you're looking for. For example, Hummingbird makes you much more likely to get a helpful answer to the question, "where is the most popular pizza place close to my house?"
What does the new search algorithm mean for your SEO?
Since Google search now concentrates more heavily on getting the answers to conversational questions rather than finding matches for simple queries, search results are more likely to rank long-tail keywords higher than single keywords. Therefore, companies that optimize their websites with long-tail keywords are most likely to show up at the top of the search results page.
Help Hummingbird fly to your website by providing hiqh-quality content your buyer persona is looking for. To earn a place in the top search results, businesses need to consider as many relevant queries as possible when producing content. In order to achieve this, you need to create accurate and descriptive website content that answers real, important questions about your company's offerings. Building an effective content strategy should be at the top of your business's marketing objectives if you want to make your website worth a click to search engine users.
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