The Google hummingbird update is the latest algorithm change in a string of recent updates designed to apply more meaning and context to search queries.
Already live for about a month, the update is meant to improve search results particularly for more specific or long tail queries i.e.semantic search. Hummingbird aims to address previous algorithm limitations of not being able to identify the context of words strung together.
The astute search marketer can see where Google is going with SEO ranking factors.
Increasingly the mechanical or technical part of SEO is a lot less important than it used to be. Although metadata, keyword structure in a document and URL’s are still important, their role in SEO is getting smaller.
Google still likes clean code and structure, that won’t change, but the importance of the qualitative, engaging content side of things continues to rise.
This of course isn’t a secret and content marketing has been a hot topic for at least the last 5-6 years.
What it does mean however is a greater focus on context marketing that addresses specific queries by users and content that is original, engaging and share-worthy.
Tactical Tips to make the most of the Google Hummingbird update
Thought you’d never ask – here are a couple of tactical tips:
Query-based content creation
Your customers ask you questions right? Chance are if they are asking you they are asking Google. The more clever Google gets in conversational and semantic search, the less customers may need to ask you the same questions.
Think about the 10 most frequently asked questions customers or prospects ask you in regards to your product or service offering. These could be anything from how-to based questions to how on earth you came up with that amazingly funny youtube ad.
In addition to questions they are asking, thing about questions they should be asking that would lead to your product coming up on top of their list.
By laying out these questions you will find many can be easily turned into a series of blogs or videos.
Social Media & Google +
Google isn’t taking Facebook’s Graph Search lightly and is increasingly itself placing an importance on social search and what you and your friends are interested in.
The importance of integrating your online presence with Google + is no longer a question, a study by Moz last month found after Page Authority, a URL’s number of +1’s is more highly correlated with search rankings than any other factor.
This means in addition to the traditional social media channels, you also can’t afford to ignore Google + and everything Google + related i.e. +1 anchors on your digital assets and optimised Google + pages for any and all of your locations.
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