What You Should Know About The Hummingbird Algorithm.

Hummingbird – so named for its “precise and fast” results — dramatically changed the way that Google search queries work. Search Engine Land reported that Hummingbird, which was implemented in August of 2013, is the biggest change to Google’s search engine algorithms since 2001. Instead of focusing solely on individual keywords words, Hummingbird uses conversational search, taking into account the meaning of the entire phrase or sentence. In the past, when a searcher entered the words “what’s the closest appliance part shop to my home,” Google would probably have focused on “appliance part shop” and returned pages that matched those keywords. With Hummingbird, the search engine recognizes that the searcher wants local results and returns them.

What these changes mean for marketers and small business owners is a greater push toward what Google has said it wants all along: quality content that satisfies surfers’ needs. Focus on why customers seek out your business online and address those questions. For instance, an HVAC repair service in Maryland could publish blog posts during the fall about how to winterize your air conditioning unit, since this something local searchers will be looking for at that time of year.

Hummingbird’s implementation was not announced until about a month after it was underway. In general, if your search rankings stayed the same, Hummingbird is nothing to worry about. In fact, it and other semantic search changes to the algorithm mean, more than ever, that the companies that focus on useful, high quality content will continue to be the ones who win at search.

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