Marking its 15th anniversary of the global search giant, Google announced the Hummingbird update on September 26, 2013, claiming that it will offer a more human way for the search engine to interact with users and provide more direct answers. The update, which is touted to be the largest change to Google’s algorithm till date, is impacting more than 90 percent searches worldwide. Though the announcement can be construed as a concern for SEO; however, the update had been in place for more than a month before it was announced, and did not harm the rankings or traffic patterns of most websites.
Is there a need to revamp your SEO strategy?
In short, the answer is probably ‘no’. However, the answer stands true only if you have been staying on the leading edge of SEO, adhering to white-hat tactics and progressing with the natural evolution of SEO. Although Google has become better at understanding and answering questions more like people do, its algorithm continues to be a complex mix of factors that weigh the relevance of a webpage.
Let us take a closer look at what the update means from an SEO perspective.
Rebirth of Long-Trail Keywords
With Hummingbird in place, Google has become more efficient at answering longer-tail queries. This clearly spells new opportunities for search optimizers. Therefore, it would be a good idea to add a few long-trail keywords to your SEO campaign.
Links Still Matter
Although Google has pretty stringent link guidelines, this old school SEO tactic is far from dead. Even after Hummingbird, links will continue to help Google put concepts together on the web and play a pivotal role in making the search engine decide the credibility of your site.
Content is More Crucial
As Google makes the transition from focusing on “keywords” to their “meaning”, quality content has become all the more important for the success of an SEO campaign. Your focus should be on creating original, human-oriented content that answers relevant queries and needs.
Data Markup is Important
Providing Google with detailed information about the content of your website will continue to help the search engine in determining its placement in relevant searches. Moreover, structured data will also improve click-through rates in search results, especially when displayed in rich snippets.
Rich Media Still Work
Rich media such as videos, infographics, etc. are still alluring for those choosing links with answers to their questions, and will continue to draw the curious, promising a great way for your site to answer search engine queries in a creative, captivating manner.
All in all, even though Google’s last two updates (Penguin and Panda) did result in steep decline in the rankings of numerous websites, while numerous others getting graver penalties; Hummingbird seems to be a welcome change for ethical search optimization and marks the beginning on a new era for SEO.