What Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm Means for Content Marketing

Google recently rolled out its Hummingbird search algorithm for all search results. The new algorithm reportedly impacts 90 percent of all search queries – especially for long tail queries or semantic search.

With Hummingbird, Google is striving to achieve for greater speed and accuracy by understanding the searcher’s intent especially as more searches are leaning towards the conversational. Searchers today prefer to phrase search as questions or phrases than simply type in keywords. In response, the new algorithm has been designed to handle complex queries and identify the meaning behind phrases as whole rather than individual words, and rank answers to those questions from the content they’ve indexed.

The new algorithm has been live for some time now and while short tail key phrases with one or two words have not been affected much, there has been a drastic change in more conversational phrases.

How Hummingbird algorithm is good for content marketing

Amit Singhal, Google VP of Search says “With more complex queries, the algorithm can better understand concepts vs. words as well as relationships between concepts.”

The new algorithm is Google’s way of saying that ultimately, original and high-quality content will be given importance in ranking. For web content writers, SEO has always mattered, for example, inbound links, social shares, descriptive page titles. Hummingbird now empowers Google to manage those results more effectively.

The previous update, Google Panda, focussed on unique content – Hummingbird focusses more on useful content.

As a content writer or blogger, what this means is that when you blog about topics your customers are interested in, Google will ensure that they are found by the right audience. By creating user-focussed content, you can become a good resource for your community, showcase your expertise, and develop a relationship with your potential buyers.

To adapt to the new update, you would need to change focus of your content and make it more useful as well as unique to show up in the search engine rankings. Also, a single page and its title will no longer be able to satisfy a query – your whole site would have to satisfy a range of users.

With the new algorithm in place, content writers can now focus on optimizing satisfied customers instead of just optimizing keywords and take them from one of the buying cycle to the end. Google Hummingbird leads to search results that are less a collection of content farms and more a collection of pages created with the end users in mind. That’s content marketing! The new algorithm allows you to be helpful, create content to attract the right people, and respond to their needs with relevant information.


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