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Hummingbird: The Latest SEO Buzzword

January 24th, 2014 by

seo servicesSince Google turned on its new Hummingbird search algorithm in the late summer, the SEO services industry has been trying to figure out how it affects SEO rankings. Now that the dust has settled and Hummingbird’s impacts are becoming clear, it looks like Google may have achieved search engine nirvana. Hummingbird isn’t about tricks, meta tags, or surreptitiously-snuck-in keywords. It seems to distinguish between good content and bad content and rewards the good stuff.

The technology underlying Hummingbird draws on how much Google knows about us. After years of using Google’s web services, talking on Android phones and noodling about on Android tablets, the company has built a gigantic database of what we want and how we search. That database has allowed it to take natural search to a new level. When you ask Google a question — which more and more people do, thanks to voice search — Google doesn’t look at the keywords in the question. It attempts to answer your question.

Answering Questions

What this means is that Hummingbird can tell the difference between “what are SEO services” and “what SEO services are near me.” More importantly, it can also read the content that it has indexed to determine if it will answer the question. Along the way, it looks at the site and the person who wrote the content to see if it is trustworthy and if it will answer the client’s question. All of that information goes into figuring out what finally shows up on the search engine results page.

Good Answers

More than anything else, Hummingbird wants to find good answers to the questions that users ask. Because it has the processing ability to read into what appears on your webpage, the time, effort and money that you put into creating good content will be rewarded. Content that is deep and rich will rank higher, and content that is trusted by other people will get even more benefit.

Getting Found

Creating good content far outweighs the benefits of keyword stuffing and keyword optimization. Furthermore, there are three additional strategies that also help pages filled with good content rank well under Hummingbird.

  1. Be mobile friendly. Hummingbird knows that mobile devices are gaining popularity, and rewards sites that answer questions for mobile users as well as for desktop browsers.
  2. Have more good content. While quality is still king, among sites of high quality, larger ones appear to fare better than smaller ones. The more quality content that you add, the better off you are likely to be.
  3. Be social. Hummingbird has the power to better track activity in social media. In addition, claiming your content through Google’s Authorship program can help you to establish your credentials as a content creator that Hummingbird should trust.

Solomon P is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.

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