Search Engine Optimization is about giving your website the best possible chance of being part of the first results in relevant Google searches thus improving the amount of hits, shares and links it receives. This is usually determined by particular keyword placement and content quality but recently Google has been attempting to disrupt this method of marketing, Panda and Penguin updates being examples, due to conceptions that it promotes cheap, unoriginal sites which focus on advertising products rather than providing information of interest. The Hummingbird update is the latest algorithm created to prevent dishonorable SEO techniques from being fully effective. It is different though in so much that it is a complete overhaul of the algorithm; a search algorithm that will look for the best results from the billions of sites once a query has been entered. However, this does not mean SEO is dead, far from it actually.
Hummingbird criteria for a site
There are over 200 bits of information hummingbird will take into account when searching for the best pages relevant to a search entry. These are similar to SEO techniques in so much that PageRank, appropriate links, quality of content, keywords, etc. are all scanned and examined for importance. Although this sounds like a lot of information to go through on each of the millions, if not billions, of pages the search algorithm got its name, Hummingbird, for being so fast and precise.
What is different between this and the last algorithm?
One huge difference in this algorithm as opposed to the last is in query searches e.g. “Where can I purchase winter items for my car?” Instead of searching the keywords in this question such as “car” and “winter” Hummingbird will attempt to understand the meaning behind the search making it much more personal to the user. It might know your location and offer shops near you which sell car parts. This algorithm is about understanding the entire search rather than just the words.
How will this affect my site?
If you have not lost traffic yet then you have most likely not been badly affected by it. The rules are the same in terms of SEO tactics; keep your content original, don’t clutter pages with irrelevant links and provide relevant keywords. If you have lost hits and links then it can have something to do with Hummingbird not appreciating your website but it could also be a glitch as with any new system.
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