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In a world where almost every new offering from a tech giant is revealed at a conference that is streamed online, it was surprising to see Google launch a new offering under the radar.
On September 26, 2013 Google quietly announced that is had developed a new search algorithm called Hummingbird. The previous time Google made a change to their search algorithm was 12 years ago! This is some pretty big news and there’s some great reasoning from Google for why they launched it.
Google discovered the way people search has changed
No longer do people search one or two words but rather in full sentences. In fact, few people search using Boolean terminology. You may have heard this change as a move from “strings to things.”
With the launch of Siri and Google Voice, more people are searching entire phrases. We’ve gone from “weather 60657” to “What’s the weather going to be like this weekend in Chicago?”
One of the major reasons for this change is the advancement in mobile technology. More people are searching using their mobile devices than ever before. We’re speaking into our smartphones and tablets, asking questions, and looking for answers.
This is where your brand can come alive
Compile a list of questions that people are asking about your brand, your industry, and your segment. With that list, you can create content to help answer those questions and this type of content will do better with Google’s new search algorithm. Other good content includes:
- How-to tips
- Video responses to common questions you receive
- An infographic the gives people the knowledge they’re searching for
The more relevant your content is to answering these questions, the higher you’ll appear in Google’s new Hummingbird results. Content is still reportedly king so this hasn’t changed. But you can’t try to find SEO work arounds with the content you produce online. More than ever, it needs to be relevant and interesting.
Most importantly, Hummingbird takes social engagement into consideration as well. Content that is liked, shared, and commented on will be listed as relevant and thus appear higher in searches.