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Google hummingbirdOn October 3rd 2013, Google released it’s entirely new algorithm called Hummingbird.

Hummingbird is not a simple update like the previous Panda or Penguin updates. However it is a completely refreshed and re-written algorithm, to launch it’s overall strategy to dominate the increasing “conversational” search market.

It is the first step in creating a fully predictive service, whereby it know what the user wants to know, before the user knows what to ask for. It will also capitalise on the trends of increased voice search by people using mobile devices, where keyboards are small and cumbersome to type on.

Soon, you will be able to confidently speak into Google and ask for “where can I find the best seafood restaurant” or “where can I go to find a new car for sale”. These types of search patterns will be more semantic based and Google has a long way to go, however Hummingbird is just the beginning and the changes are coming.

What do I need to do to meet the Hummingbird standards?

It is now more important, as it always has, to have relevant, fresh and original content on your website. It is all about the user experience, so always remember to write content that will provide excellent information relating to your niche or business. Never write your content for search engines, rather, write regular, quality content for your customers and the search engines will reward you by default.

Other things to tick in the Google must haves are:

  • Social metrics. Get your customers talking about you on the well known social media sites: Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube, Pinterest and Google Plus. This also includes adding Facebook, Google like and share buttons.
  • Analytics such as low bounce rates, visitor interaction and visitor duration of stay.
  • Relevant flow to visitor information. – Simply means, that the information on your website is easily found and the structure of your website is contextual to your visitors expectations.
  • Website is updated frequently with fresh, relevant and quality content.
  • Add a “Terms of Service” page – A must have. This tells Google that you are a serious business and care about your website visitors.
  • Remember to build your website for your customers, not for search engines. Never over-optimise your website with keywords.

It is also important to start the process of understanding what your customers would ask for, in relation to your services, as a voice search, so that you can be well prepared for the increase in voice search capabilities that will be more evident in the future.

What do you think of the Hummingbird algorithm and what strategies are you using to meet the new standards?

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