When the news broke out that Google updated its search algorithm, it was met with tremendous sense of gloom and panic by many webmasters. Many feared that the new algorithm will result in a huge decline in their traffic and rankings. However all the nervousness melted away when Google’s Matt Cutts revealed that Hummingbird had been up and running for more than a couple of months without anyone even noticing it.
It must be noted that Hummingbird is just an update from Google that aims at an improvement in the semantic search capability of the search engine. In the course of time people are going to use more and more of voice search, particularly in their mobile phones. That would mean that search engines should be more capable than before to assimilate and understand conversational and long term search queries of the users. Hummingbird is certainly Google’s effort towards achieving a better understanding about contextual meaning of words used in search queries.
It would mean that the SEOs and the webmasters have nothing new to worry about after the initialisation of Google Hummingbird. What they have been doing all these while have to be continued. Content is still the King and more fresh and regularly updated content you have in the website, the better. It will also help you better answer the queries posted by your customers. Technical things like structured data and page speed continue to be significant and they are important factors that Google and other search engines will consider while ranking your website. The same social media signals that were important in the past will continue to remain so in this post-Hummingbird world. The number of followers, shares and retweets, together with the content shared through Google Plus will have a positive impact. Backlinks from credible and relevant websites will continue to be important. Keywords used in the site should still be carefully researched on and used in moderation.
All in all, in the post-Hummingbird era in SEO, webmasters should focus on making their websites mobile friendly and should include content that give value to the customers. If your website has got content that answers specific questions of your customers, then your website will get a better ranking in Google. Real conversation of people about your brands in forums and the review they get in social media sites will be more valuable in terms of search engine optimisation of your website.
Author: Aravind Ramesh