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Will Google’s Hummingbird Update Suck the Nectar from your Website?

First things first, you really shouldn’t have anything to worry about if you’ve followed the best practices we’ve talked about over the last couple of years.  So just relax.  We’ll get into the details here in a bit.

One of the reasons we tell folks to at least consider a professional SEO firm is for just these kinds of things.  Every so often Google likes to update how it ranks their search results.  Some folks estimate up to 400 different tweaks annually are made to the mysterious algorithm. 

Hummingbird is a bit different in that it isn’t new tweak.  It is the biggest change to Google’s search methodology in a decade.  You can understand why some people are overly concerned. 

Let’s hit a few of the highlights. 

Mobile is the priority

It is no coincidence that Google used images of their mobile app when they rolled out Hummingbird.  It’s been coming for a long time.  We’ve told you about how Google has been focusing more and more on the mobile experience.  Hummingbird is focused on your ability to take out your phone, ask a ‘human’ question and get the results you’re looking for in your hand.

Things are a bit different on a mobile device vs. a desktop.  If you’re on a phone you want your results relevant and quick.  Why you should have mobile optimized version of your website.  (We also can’t forget about new devices soon to be launched like Google Glass.

Hummingbird is focused on conversational search.  Do you know the person that seems to find results on Google easier than you because they learned the down and dirty search methods Google used to use?  Well with Hummingbird you should have an easier time getting your results by asking human like questions.  “Where can I get my car fixed in Scottsdale?”  Users tend to naturally be more conversational when using a mobile device so it’s not much of a change for the searcher.

In summary – Mobile and Human Question Oriented = Hummingbird.

Stuffing Keywords and gaming the system just isn’t going to cut it anymore.  It’s about relevancy now.  Matt Cutts (Google’s Search Maven) describes Google’s future as “about things, not strings.”

What can you do to keep your site optimized?  Well if you’ve been following our advice nothing much changes.  Keep your content solid, relevant, original and fresh.  Hummingbird is really about answering questions that customers are asking Google.  Be a resource.