Google Hummingbird - What does it mean for SEO?


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What is the Google Hummingbird algorithm's impact on SEO? Understanding the intent behind Hummingbird is key to predicting what it will mean to SEO today and tomorrow. In this POV presentation from Ogilvy subsidiary Global Strategies, Ken Shults outlines the implications of Google's focus shift from keywords to entities.

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Google Hummingbird - What does it mean for SEO?

  1. 1. POV Google’s Hummingbird Update
  2. 2. KEN SHULTS SVP, Analytics Global Strategies
  3. 3. Google algorithm updates will always support the goal of presenting quality content aligned to the information needs of searchers. Google Penguin Google Panda Google Hummingbird Aimed at reducing visibility for sites that participate in link schemes and/or spammy practices such as keyword stuffing Aimed at reducing visibility for low quality content sites such as those that are overly heavy with advertising Based on semantic search focusing on user intent, Hummingbird aims at improving search results for conversational queries such as questions GOOGLE HUMMINGBIRD. ALGORITHM UPDATE.
  4. 4. What is Hummingbird? In short, it’s Google’s new approach to move beyond keywords and understand “entities,” or what real-world things actually are or do, rather than relying on the inexact and often ambiguous words that describe them. Hummingbird should better focus on the meaning behind words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning of a query will rank, rather than pages matching just a few words. Is this a big deal? Google says that the last time they made this dramatic a change to the algorithm was 2001. When did this start? Google says that Hummingbird went live about a month ago, but Google’s launch of Knowledge Graph was really the catalyst for beginning to understand the semantic web. GOOGLE HUMMINGBIRD. ALGORITHM UPDATE.
  5. 5. 800000 7/1/2013 7/3/2013 7/5/2013 7/7/2013 7/9/2013 7/11/2013 7/13/2013 7/15/2013 7/17/2013 7/19/2013 7/21/2013 7/23/2013 7/25/2013 7/27/2013 7/29/2013 7/31/2013 8/2/2013 8/4/2013 8/6/2013 8/8/2013 8/10/2013 8/12/2013 8/14/2013 8/16/2013 8/18/2013 8/20/2013 8/22/2013 8/24/2013 8/26/2013 8/28/2013 8/30/2013 9/1/2013 9/3/2013 9/5/2013 9/7/2013 9/9/2013 9/11/2013 9/13/2013 9/15/2013 9/17/2013 9/19/2013 9/21/2013 9/23/2013 9/25/2013 9/27/2013 9/29/2013 (blank) Natural Search Traffic Hummingbird in Action If this is such a big deal and it’s been live for a month, how has it impacted us? Minimally so far. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important Natural Search last 90 days 1600000 Hummingbird 1500000 1400000 1300000 1200000 1100000 1000000 900000 Source: List of GSI Clients’ Natural Search Traffic GOOGLE HUMMINGBIRD. ALGORITHM UPDATE.
  6. 6. Hummingbird in Action Entities vs. Keywords Example Search Term: ABC Founders • Google understands the “entity” ABC is a company and that its founders are Marc Cherry & Leonard Goldenson. • Google attempts to answer the searcher’s query immediately, with supporting information from the Knowledge Graph and search listings where the searcher may find additional relevant information. • Google is building its understanding of entities from: o Current trusted sources like Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook o New sources, potentially including your website • As Hummingbird acquires more knowledge of more entities and their relationship to searcher intent, we should anticipate that the results presented may not include the searcher’s keyword, but rather attempt to answer the searcher’s question. Knowledge Graph GOOGLE HUMMINGBIRD. ALGORITHM UPDATE.
  7. 7. Hummingbird in Action So if everything is based on intent now, then I guess keywords don’t really matter any more? • Not quite. While exact keywords should be less important, we still see that Google is presenting results that look pretty much the same as they always did for most of the keyword landscape we care about. • But, as Hummingbird acquires more knowledge of more entities and their relationship to searcher intent, we will see results presented that may not include the searcher’s keyword but that answer the searcher’s question GOOGLE HUMMINGBIRD. ALGORITHM UPDATE.
  8. 8. Hummingbird in Action What does this mean? I need some more examples. Search term: AAPL Before Hummingbird Hummingbird • • AAPL is the ticker symbol for the ENTITY Apple • Google knows many things about the ENTITY Apple and about the ENTITY of Stock Ticker Symbols • Google knows that common activities related to Ticker Symbols involve buying, selling, researching, investing, etc. • Google knows about ENTITIES related to all of those related activities • Google’s knowledge of AAPL as an ENTITY greatly expands the value that is possible for them to provide in search results well beyond relevant results based simply on strings of text (keywords) • AAPL is a string of text containing the letters “AAPL” Google looks for web pages that include the string “AAPL” • Pages that include the string “AAPL” will be the result set presented to searchers • Pages with good page rank based on quality backlinks relevant to the term “AAPL” will rank better • Pages from domains with good reputations will rank better GOOGLE HUMMINGBIRD. ALGORITHM UPDATE.
  9. 9. Hummingbird in Action Where does this ENTITY information come from? It seems like this is headed back toward spamming meta data like keyword and description tags. • Google is building its understanding of entities from trusted sources like Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook. • Google will also build on this information from other sources, potentially including your website. • We can help Google understand information about entities on our site through the use of Structured Data Markup, aka Schema tags. GOOGLE HUMMINGBIRD. ALGORITHM UPDATE.
  10. 10. Hummingbird in Action What does this structured data look like? If you have searched for a recipe, a hotel or a movie you have already seen structured data in action. In the results page example here for the keyword blueberry pie recipe we see many of the listings include Ratings, Reviews, Time to Prepare and Calories. This information comes from structured data tags in the web pages for this recipe content. GOOGLE HUMMINGBIRD. ALGORITHM UPDATE.
  11. 11. Hummingbird in Action Alright, this is all very fancy, but what does it mean we should do? • Leverage Global Strategies’ Consumer Intent Modeling™ in order to better understand the INTENT behind the search queries that searchers use to find information that is relevant for our business. • Develop rich content that ANSWERS the questions that searchers have. • Keyword selection and optimization is still important and will continue to be an important factor, but our understanding of keywords needs to evolve toward more sophisticated interpretation of intent and the relationship between entities. • Evaluate opportunities through SCHEMA MARKUP to enhance our content in the eyes of Hummingbird. GOOGLE HUMMINGBIRD. ALGORITHM UPDATE.
  12. 12. ENGAGE Ken Shults THANK. YOU.