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5 Things Bloggers Need to Know about Google Hummingbird

  • November 17 2014
  • Comments Off on 5 Things Bloggers Need to Know about Google Hummingbird

It’s a well-known fact that Google makes major changes to its algorithms every so often, sometimes they are good for your Web site and some may not be so great. The good news is that a lot of the changes that Google makes go unnoticed most of the time, and as long as you are providing content that is great for the user, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Google makes between 500 and 600 algorithm changes per year – some are just updates, minor changes and data refreshes. As mentioned, these practically go unnoticed, but there are some that can overturn your search rankings and slow down your incoming traffic, like Panda and Penguin did. In the fall of 2013, Google Hummingbird surfaced, which affected 90 percent of search results. This would be considered a major overhaul of its algorithm, and it’s important that bloggers become acquainted with it, so that they can continue being on the good side of Google.


It’s All About Semantics, Not Keywords

The days of keywords having a heavy influence on content are just about over. Hummingbird is a complicated tool that is able to create progressively complex layers of accurate purpose for the results that are shown in search. This makes the relevancy of keywords nearly non-existent. Keywords will likely always have a place, but the king of content creation will be about semantics, which is transforming how people search. It now focuses on providing personalized and localized search results. This has been a big focus for mobile-based searches, rather than computer-based, which brings us to the next tip.


Mobile Is One of the Key Drivers of Hummingbird

If you haven’t already optimized your blog for mobile, then it’s time to do so quickly. Hummingbird has its eyes on mobile users, so it only makes sense that your site does the same. Forbes stated that the volume of mobile search would exceed the desktop search volume by the time we hit 2015. Hummingbird is very helpful to mobile users, since one out of every three searches mobile users make has local intent. The interactivity and ease of Hummingbird is excellent for mobile users who like to use the voice search feature and ask questions to generate intelligent results.


High Quality Content Continues to be the Top Dog

As we stroll further and further away from keywords, we’re falling more and more into high quality writing. This is great news for blog writers who hate inserting keywords that make their content flow unnaturally. It’s been stressed for a couple of years now that quality content is king. Now with Hummingbird, the search engine is much smarter to where it looks at the meaning behind the words used for search terms, rather than simply matching keywords together. It now understands the relationships behind these concepts. So as you’re writing your blog content, make sure that the asked and unasked questions of your readers are answered, thus solving their problems, because Hummingbird will place the crown on your content by doing so.


How to Know if Your Blog Was Impacted

As with most updates that Google makes, it crept up quietly and surprised everyone. Google gave everyone a month’s notice in September 2013 about Hummingbird, and then it went into effect sometime in October 2013. If you’ve noticed a dramatic change in your traffic, such as a huge free-fall, around the end of September of 2013, then your site rankings were negatively affected. Otherwise, Hummingbird might actually be helping your site by pushing down the ranks of spam sites and displaying relevant content such as yours.


Learn About Knowledge Graph

It’s important that you learn about knowledge graph because Hummingbird has just expanded on it. This was launched back in May of 2012 and in July 2012, it was enhanced. If you haven’t heard of it or dealt with it yet, it’s Google’s way of summarizing all relevant details about content that is related to a user’s search. It displays results that contain information that’s more insightful. For instance, if you did a search of George Clooney, it will display his birth date, where he was born, his career details, names of spouse and children and his images. It also displays his movies and events he may be involved in.


Google Hummingbird should be good news for bloggers who are trying to write meaningful content for readers. It was meant to punish spammers, so unless you are using black hat SEO methods, then your blog should be safe. Just write content that users find shareable and likable and you should do fine.

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Cameron Mackey

Cameron is the Content Manager for the Vorongo Blog. He has spent three years in various content marketing roles. When he is not working with Vorongo he enjoys photography and hiking.

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