SEO lives on for another day. According to Google, publishers don’t have to worry. And as always their advice remains the same: provide original, high-quality content.
Am I jumping ahead?
Let’s take a step back.
Google announced recently that they had implemented a new algorithm named Hummingbird. Supposedly because it’s “precise and fast.” However the change was made over a month ago, without the knowledge of both marketers and consumers.
Which I guess pretty much sums up whether or not it affects SEO.
So what is Hummingbird?
In a nutshell, it’s a completely new search algorithm that affects 90% of searches. (I know, crazy.)
But rather than focusing on making Google a better information provider (website indexing and spam slapping all over the damn place), Hummingbird is focused on the user.
And this is the interesting bit.
Long Tail Keyword Search
Prior to the H-bird, Google would blast the user with sites that included any word in a long-tail search.
E.g. I type into Google: awesome restaurants to eat at near my location. Before H-bird, Google would bring up searches based on the individual words. That might include sites with the word “awesome,” a Wiki entry with the meaning of restaurant, maybe map results to find your location and so forth.
But now Hummingbird allows Google to understand the context of the search and would bring up results for actual restaurants around my location (as long as I’m signed into my Google account and my details are updated.)
Mobile Search FTW
People who google on their smartphones tend to type less compared to when they’re using a full sized keyboard. Meanwhile, voice search tends to be longer, conversational and complex. Google is staying on top of things by tweaking their voice search results.
As long as the user is signed in when they make a search, they should have an improved experienced. Because on top of the actual search, Google takes into account the user’s location, social connections, time of day and search history.
So how does this affect you?
If you’ve neither noticed a change in Google nor lost traffic over the last month then you survived Hummingbird. Congratulations.
From what I gather, publishers haven’t been complaining about a loss in rankings or diminished traffic. If you did lose traffic then it could have been due to Hummingbird, or any other part of the algorithm which is constantly being changed anyway.
As always, the biggest takeaway of all this is to continue coming up with fresh, unique content that is high-quality and that people actually want to read.