Are You Feeding the Hummingbird?


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Google has stated that Hummingbird applies to up to 90% of ‪‎search‬ queries, making its effects nearly universal. Are you feeding the Google ‪Hummingbird‬? We have some optimization steps.

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Are You Feeding the Hummingbird?

  1. 1. F E E D I N G Hummingbird? ARE YOU THE
  2. 2. In September 2013, Google announced that it had updated a core algorithm influencing the way that the results of complex queries appear on the Google SERP. This update was referred to as "hummingbird".
  3. 3. Hummingbird was designed to better handle the type of “question/answer” - style queries prevalent on mobile devices.
  4. 4. HOW DOES IT WORK? Google has released no formal documentation on Hummingbird, a situation that has led to a high level of misinformation about it to circulate within the SEO community.
  5. 5. Some experts have gone so far as to claim that keywords and back links are no longer important; others say that traditional on- page optimization methods, including rich anchor text, will make the webmaster subject to a Hummingbird-induced penalty. There is no actual evidence that any of these claims are true.
  6. 6. Google and the other engines are continuously working to improve the accuracy of search results, and much of this work involves the incorporation of information beyond the individual query session in which the keyword entry is made.
  7. 7. WHAT SHOULD I DO? While it is impossible for those who are not directly employed by Google to know the degree to which each input by Hummingbird contributes (or detracts) from a web page's objective authority, it is clear that web publishers need to think more holistically about the content they generate and optimize in order to increase the chances that it will rank favorably on the Google SERP.
  8. 8. Additionally, they may need to take steps to identify themselves better to Google to gain the search engine's trust, and organize the data on their sites in a way that is easy for Google to understand.
  9. 9. STEP 1. OPTIMIZE CONTENT NATURALLY Hummingbird’s advent should cause copywriters to focus on not just keywords -- when crafting content. THEMES
  10. 10. While keywords remain important, the fact that Hummingbird is better able to understand the context of a particular body of text means that writers can write more naturally, without obsessing about keyword density.
  11. 11. STEP 2. DISCLOSE YOUR IDENTITY While Google has denied that social signals are incorporated into search rankings, it is clear that the more Google knows about a given publisher, the more likely it is that such a publisher (if legitimate) will be correctly accorded the credit he/she is due.
  12. 12. At minimum, publishers seeking to take advantage of Hummingbird should have Google Accounts in order to verify their identities. These accounts provide both utility (Gmail) and a range of tools (Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools) that provide major intelligence value to the publisher when it comes to site optimization and content strategy.
  13. 13. Additionally, publishers should take steps to incorporate Author Rel to correctly assign authorship to web documents.
  14. 14. STEP 3. STRUCTURE YOUR DATA Structuring web documents correctly will enhance Hummingbird's ability to understand and correctly contextualize web content. While HTML -- the native language of the Web -- has some logical structure already built into it (H1, H2, etc.), publishers should take steps to more granularly tag their documents by applying micro-data format tagging as specified by
  15. 15. Micro-data is a form of meta-information that classifies content in terms that Hummingbird can easily understand. And doing so also will help Google produce accurate "rich snippets" (the ancillary information included below organic SERP results) in order to give searchers' a better idea of the actual content of a given Web document as it appears on Google.
  16. 16. Google's Webmaster Tools includes a very helpful Data Highlighter feature that can help you apply micro-data to the documents you publish.
  17. 17. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Stephen C. Baldwin Steve Baldwin is an author and tech industry veteran who’s been “Working the Web” since 1994. You can learn more about him at Editor-in-Chief, Didit
  18. 18. MORE QUESTIONS? We can help. A digital marketing leader since 1996, provides full- service online advertising and marketing services with award- winning expertise and innovation. Didit Follow us!