Business Technology

How to use Google's Hummingbird to your advantage

4 min read

10 March 2014

In case you weren’t already aware, Google has a new search algorithm, which is called Google “Hummingbird”. It approaches search engine queries in a brand new way by utilising new technology combined with older features of the existing algorithms.

Some say that the change in Google’s algorithm’s means that SEO is ‘dead’. However, there is nothing new or different – the same rule still applies: have original, high-quality content. Hummingbird just allows Google to process them in a new and better way through an improvement in semantic search.

It seems that with Hummingbird, Google can now answer those long-tail queries even if a page is not optimised for them. So, some pages may have a better chance of being found for certain queries now.

How does Hummingbird relate to content marketing?

To appear in Google’s search results, the method previously used involved writing endless articles full of repeated keywords because Google would favour sites with lots of fresh content and repeated keywords would help rankings. This all changed when Google decided that too much of the stuff reaching the top of the results lacked substance or any genuine value. This will allow content marketers to rethink about the way they plan and write content. 

Understanding Google Hummingbird

When creating a content marketing strategy, you should be thinking why people are looking for something rather than what they are looking for. A content plan for this should be designed for their needs, not just provide them with the facts.

To answer you query, Google Hummingbird will link different websites together to answer questions, but if you follow the same logic, you can plan a chain of connected pieces of information on your website.

For example: A retailer might feature a range of different dresses and skirts with the image and specifications, but there are several things that the buyer may need to know when purchasing the items. Here are a few examples of different content strands that may help the user.

Just Looking for Information:

  • What sort of material is the dress/skirt?
  • Would this be suitable for evening or daywear?
  • Can I wash this dress/skirt in a tumble dryer; and
  • Which celebs have been spotted wearing a similar outfit?

Shopping around, exploring options:

  • Top dress/skirt brands compared;
  • Get the look: what accessories will go with this dress/skirt; and
  • Shoes to go with the dress/skirt.

Ready to buy, comparing retailers and prices:

  • Is the fit large or small?
  • What length is it? Is it suitable for petites? and
  • Compare prices

Information for customers after the purchase:

  • How do I return my item? and
  • ‘How to’ methods

Following the Hummingbird method, you now need to connect everything together with a logical process.

If they want to know one thing, there may be other relating topics or follow-on questions they want answers to. Any one of the above can be broken down into an article, video guide, Facebook post or infographic.

They key is to avoid dead ends and solve their problem quickly and efficiently.

Rhys Foley is a Freelance writer, focusing on key business trends and technology news. 

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