Google is really trying to rock the boat these days – we’ve just seen key phrases disappear from Google Analytics, and a series of Panda and Penguin updates throwing the SEO world into fits of panic.

Hummingbird may be the most fundamental change of them all, changing the way that the search engine interacts with searchers.

What is Google Hummingbird about?

In brief:

  • Google is recognising that people’s search habits are changing. They’re typing in longer queries and even using natural language
  • Google says it’s now trying to understand every word entered by searchers, not just picking out the key words and working with them
  • Hummingbird tries to understand what the searcher is actually looking for and deliver a range of relevant information
  • By providing more information on its search results pages, Google may be seeking to keep searchers on its pages rather than direct them to other sites – so you may have to work harder to entice people to click on your content

So Hummingbird sets out to match content with searches and searchers in a more sophisticated way than Google has ever managed before. It should therefore present better quality search results.

Hummingbird SERPS

The biggest change for Google, but the smallest impact for skillful content marketers

Strangely enough, the fundamental changes wrought by Google Hummingbird may have little impact on what you’re doing as a content marketer.

You may even argue that Google may be doing more of your job for you. The content that you research, put into your strategy to deliver information, services or products to your readers or customers, has more chance of being understood and placed on the SERPs (search engine results pages) accurately than before.

But don’t forget that you must be providing content that is powerful enough to get people to move on from Google’s enriched SERPs.

Make some noise!

  • Do your key phrase research to understand what your readers are interested in
  • Look at the results on Google for those key phrases – how is Hummingbird presenting the results? How hard do you have to work to break through the noise?
  • Write good content that’s relevant and compels your readers and customers to click through to your site
  • Measure the results
  • Do more of what’s working and less of what’s not – never, ever forget that 😉

Is your content marketing ready for Hummingbird? Have you seen traffic dip since its launch? Do you need to make changes? Are you cutting through the noise? Contact me for a no-obligation consultation.

Thanks to Anissa Wood for her fantastic hummingbird image.