seo trafficThe most significant contribution of Hummingbird, the Google update launched in August 2013 is that it has brought back long tail keywords into prominence.  This is what is visible on the face hence easy to make out. All other aspects that contributed in earning better ranks in search results remain the same.  Content is still king, having a link building plan and earning organic backlinks is still important, and keywords continue to rule SEO though used in moderation with the use of Vancouver SEO. The signals that Google used for ranking mostly remain the same. The only thing that has changed since Hummingbird is the interpretation of searches. The search engines no longer focus on the keywords in searches to match answers. It looks much beyond it and tries to understand the context of the keyword by using the intelligence of Hummingbird.

What is inside Hummingbird?

According to the experts at Gilbert AZ SEO, the new algorithm of Hummingbird became necessary as search queries that used to frame short questions based on keywords changed its demeanor and became more conversational.  Earlier, search queries never captured the context of the search, and it was left to Google to understand what searchers are looking for to serve the answers. This often created gaps between expectations and reality. To ensure that search results become more relevant to search queries, searchers started framing elaborate questions, and Google faced the challenge of understanding the context as well as the intent of the search. This resulted in launching Hummingbird that has the capabilities of understanding semantic searches that facilitate presentation of pin pointed answers in search results.

It was on the cards

Whenever there is a Google update, many people are surprised at it. However, for followers of SEO, the launch of Hummingbird was not surprising at all. It had to happen because if you remember, conversational search preceded the rollout of Hummingbird about two years ago.  The reason why so many people were surprised is that they did not pay attention to conversational search that had the seeds of the impending update sown within it. Google had hinted about enhancing its capabilities in a semantic search that most people failed to note.

Better user experience – the reason for creating Hummingbird

Google has always worked for creating the better user experience and the launch of Hummingbird matches with its commitment to users.  Since the time of the first search engine, Google had promised its users to provide answers. As building the knowledge base took time, Google had to wait for 15 years before it could fulfill its promise by launching Hummingbird. Another reason is that before Hummingbird, Google was facing the problem of understanding questions concerning its context and the update correctly addresses this issue. Google used the update to enhance its level of understanding searches that helped it improve its role from leading searchers towards answers to providing the most suitable solution. It is a great leap no doubt.

What is in store for websites?

Search engines serve searchers as well as websites. In fact, the sites have helped Google to achieve success over these years by supplying the information that searchers look for. So far, we have understood how searchers would benefit from Hummingbird. They get their answers and are happy with it. Now let us look at the other end of the spectrum to know how websites feel about the update. Unlike the effects of Panda and Penguin, the impact of Hummingbird on websites is much less. However, is it all well for websites? Perhaps they have reasons for concern that Hummingbird has presented before them.

Websites are keen to use SEO to compete for search rankings so that they can provide quality answers in the content they publish so they use companies as Irvine SEO to improve their results. Websites expect that search engines would help them to gain exposure to the audience and look at search engines as a medium for connecting with the public. However, the launch of Hummingbird has changed that.

The change

It appears that Hummingbird has apparently played spoilsport for website traffic and this is the biggest concern for sites.  Since the launch of Hummingbird, search results that list the links where answers are available still appear but also, the search engine is also providing an answer to the search query by mining information from its knowledge graph and presenting it in the form of an information card. The threat is obvious because if searchers already get the information in front of them, albeit concisely, would they be interested in prod further and click on the links to explore other websites? If it happens then, websites could be left twiddling their thumbs with all efforts to drive traffic to website drawing a big blank.

The only hope is that the information card only whets the searcher’s appetite for details that drive searchers to websites.

About the author:  Maria Jones is a senior marketing professional who has also worked for Gilbert AZ SEO. She is currently looking after the marketing and new customer development projects of a leading company.  Her interest in music has taken her places, as she is a member of a musical troupe.