Google’s Hummingbird Update: A few thoughts

I’ve been reading quite a lot about Google’s latest algorithm update Hummingbird in the last few weeks.

As a writer I’ve been trying to learn what the effects will be from this update, which is arguably Google’s biggest since Panda.

Having thought about things, I’ve decided that Hummingbird isn’t going to change the fact that as writers we still need to focus on producing well written, high quality content.

What we do need to understand is that the Hummingbird update is about making search more ‘conversational’.

What does this mean?

Search has traditionally focused on delivering ranked results by matching keywords typed in a search bar to the keywords on a web page.

Conversational search seems more about making search appear more human. So rather than typing something like: ‘Hummingbird Update” which is more about keywords.

Conversational search would mean typing: “What does the Hummingbird update mean for content marketers”

Google’s Hummingbird explained

Hummingbird is really about creating faster and more accurate search results. We all hate it when we search for something and end up with a load of page results we didn’t want.

I suppose Google sees the future of search as being one where when we make a search, we get results that match our exact wants and needs. It’s about understanding people’s intent when they search and not just focusing on the keywords being used.

I’ve been reading that Google is thinking in terms of mobile and voice search – looking at how people actually speak conversationally; interpreting what people are saying and providing results that match those conversational search terms.

It’s all about understanding the needs of the searcher and when it comes to writing content. You always need to keep in mind the needs/wants/concerns of the audience you’re writing for.

Hummingbird reminds me again of the importance of writing for human beings and not search engines. If you have good content you shouldn’t have anything to worry about – Hummingbird will only help with your rankings.

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