Google Hummingbird – the three web resources you must read

October 28, 2013

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Google Hummingbird, as even the Daily Mail has noticed, is the latest update to Google’s search technology.

This is not so much a change in Google’s search algorithm as a complete refresh of the core search infrastructure – and as such the impact will make itself known over the months and years ahead.

So what has happened with Google Hummingbird and what does it mean? Here are three great resources to bring you right up to speed…

1. Moz Whiteboard Friday

Honestly there is no better way to spend the next 6 minutes and 20 seconds than listening to Rand Fishkin explaining with admirable clarity exactly what Google Hummingbird does and which kinds of content are going to win and lose in this new world.

2. 6 Major Google Changes Reveal the Future of SEO

Eric Enge at Search Engine Watch puts Google Hummingbird into the context of a string of other recent developments at Google including the dreaded rise of ‘keyword not specified’ and the continued neglect of Google Page Rank.

This post was recommended to me by our SEO team, who I think were secretly hoping that they could dupe me into repeating the phrase “conversational concatenated search queries”. In plain English, search is getting more conversational, more about content and less about rigid keyword matching strategies.

3. Google’s Hummingbird update explained

Finally here’s a very useful Slideshare presentation which covers the main points in admirable detail.

To sum all this up in a couple of points…

  • Whilst keywords are still important, Google is increasingly looking to match to the overall meaning of a search rather than mechanically match to keywords. So SEO strategies which rely primarily on keyword matching are likely to fail sooner or later.
  • Content is king – especially if it is mobile-friendly. Look at the screen shots of the last post on the official Google Search Blog – every single one features mobile search. Mobile content isn’t just optimised for devices – it is also optimised for the kind of searches that we will type and talk into our phones.

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