With the arrival of the Google Hummingbird update it is more important than ever to make on site content more than a box-ticking keyword exercise, or a hard sell. Google wants to provide their users with useful information and answers to their questions - that’s where you come in.
First, a bit of background:
Google Hummingbird is an all-new algorithm which Google is using to improve the user experience and make search results more relevant and precise for particular direct questions.
Long tail keyphrases are becoming more commonplace as users punch in full queries rather than a simple keyword that they’re looking for. Hummingbird will allow Google to gain a better understanding of the user’s full intention when searching.
Rather than simply matching the keywords from a search to the text-based content on a webpage, Google is returning the results which are most relevant to the user’s particular query. That means the search engine is paying more attention to every word in the query and the relationships between the words to understand what the user is hoping to do or learn.
To achieve this Hummingbird uses much better quality NLP (Natural Language Programming) to answer a question as well as possible; and not simply find relevant words from the question in a body of text.
So what does this mean to your website?
The introduction of Google Hummingbird means that websites need to be as helpful and informative as possible; and not simply use keyword rich content as a box ticking exercise in the hope that Google will find the site on the basis of a keyword alone.
It’s not about having that keyword on the page anymore. It’s about being the most helpful and relevant source to the user.
Andy Adams, Search Executive at HitSearch, says changing tact with your on site content won’t just benefit the user and keep Google happy. It will have residual benefits for you and your bottom line.
He explained: "This shift in Google’s Algorithm really does have the searcher’s interests at heart - as many people will often ask questions when searching online.
"This makes it necessary for site owners to provide useful information on their site. This could be an FAQ, a series of How-To Guides or a Knowledge Centre which makes the brand an authority for their industry.
"The knock-on effect is that visitors who see this authoritative content are more likely to trust your brand and much more likely to buy or enquire on your site over the competition."