Google Hummingbird, Your SEO and Your Time

Google HummingbirdGoogle Hummingbird, Google’s new search algorithm, launched recently to almost no fanfare.

This was striking, after the malaise and angst unleashed by the releases of Google Penguin, Google Panda, and all the different updates to each. 

For those interested in the history of these Google algorithm changes, there’s an excellent compilation at titled “Google Algorithm Change History” that offers links and data going all the way back to the launch of the Google Toolbar in 2000.

According to Greg Kumparak’s article on TechCrunch, we needn’t spend time worrying about dire changes in our search rankings as a result of Google Hummingbird.  He writes:

The main focus, and something that went repeated many a time, was that the new algorithm allows Google to more quickly parse full questions (as opposed to parsing searches word-by-word), and to identify and rank answers to those questions from the content they’ve indexed.

As for how it’ll affect results, moving forward … the engine overhaul was silently put in place weeks ago, right under all of our noses. If you haven’t noticed any huge jumps or drops in your search engine placement, you probably won’t any time soon — at least, not as a result of the new algorithm.

That’s good news, for anyone who’s seen no recent ranking changes and whose rankings may have been negatively affected by Google Penguin’s release.

Google Hummingbird: What does it change?

It appears that this major overhaul is mainly geared toward making search results more precise and more responsive to a conversational tone (i.e. to actual questions).  I think that this will likely save you time when you are searching, as you won’t need to think about keywords so much as simply asking your question.  (That’s assuming that Google Hummingbird works the way it’s intended to, of course.)

According to Forbes, you should not need to spend time making any changes to your SEO efforts.  As long as you’re providing quality content, Google Hummingbird should have no effect on your rankings – except for perhaps a positive one:

Many people have been frustrated by Panda and Penguin, and they’ll now see Hummingbird in a negative light. Don’t fall into that trap. If you’re the best at what you do, these updates Google has been rolling out are opportunities to separate yourself from your competition. They may have been engaging in spammy tactics to get good rankings, but if you’ve been focusing on creating content that provides real value to potential customers, their days are numbered. These changes will help you rise above, and the good news, as mentioned above, is if you’ve been doing the right things for your SEO you don’t need to change a thing.

So what’s the bottom line?  Google Hummingbird has actually been in place for awhile now, and if you’ve seen no impact on your site, you are in good shape.  Continue putting your time into creating useful content, and Google Hummingbird will reward you – at least that’s how it sounds to me!  And for more information about SEO in general, take a look at the Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors – a clever and helpful infographic available at Search Engine Land.

And speaking of searching, if you are looking for ways to enhance your time planning for your business and move toward your goals, my friend and colleague Sandy Martini has come out with a brand new program to help you get it done and reap the rewards.  Click here to discover how this could be your reality.  I hope you’ll explore the possibilities for yourself!

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