Google loves its animals and now it has launched one of its newest changes to its Search Engine algorithms – The Hummingbird Update. I like the way Dan Sullivan of SearchEngineLand used the analogy of Google being like a car and Hummingbird being like a whole new engine, even though some of the other parts necessary to run your car have remained the same (which means Penguin still matters to some extent as well).
According to Amit Singhal, Senior Vice President at Google and head of their core ranking team, Google Hummingbird will affect about 90 percent of the search requests submitted to Google. The focal point of the change is more relevance to “conversational search,” meaning a better understanding of concepts, meaning and intent, instead of just focusing on individual keywords.
Let’s say you ask “where is the nearest flower shop” in a Google search. Instead of a term like “flower shop” being important, Google is trying to give you a better result by understanding what you mean by “nearest flower shop.”
So, what does this mean to you and how can you leverage this important change in your marketing?
1. Understand the importance of asking and answering questions.
I’m sure you know already that paying attention to the questions your clients and prospects ask makes for great content for your blog and newsletter. Now these questions are even more powerful. So here are some great techniques that can help:
- Start, or add to, your FAQ page on your site. Think of questions that people might plug into Google. Instead of answering involved questions on the FAQ page – link it to a richer answer via a blog post on your website.
- Look online for forums where people might be asking questions that pertain to your industry. A couple of good starts are LinkedIn groups and questions, and Quora. If you are a local business, look for local forums or also look for industry forums. Answer questions and if you have created a blog post to better answer a question, link to it.
2. Put more focus on ongoing quality content.
The whole idea behind Hummingbird is to provide the user with a better quality search result. So it is going to be pulling the user away for “sales” talk to useful information. That means you need to be providing rich, relevant educational information on your site and other important websites as well. This means you might need to hire a writing service and an SEO service to help create a larger amount of content and then to help you get it out to the right places.
In a sentence, Content Marketing needs to become an even bigger part of your overall marketing strategy. If you would like us to do a free audit of your website, to give you a few pointers, let us know. We’re happy to help.
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