Google has launched a new search algorithm in August 2013. This launch has some digital marketers worried, but first let’s discuss what’s different about Google Hummingbird. The new algorithm is tailored to fit Google’s mission: best serve the users with the results that they desire. But what caused the change in strategy is the fact that users of Google are not searching for specific keywords, they are asking questions. The accessibility of the internet is changing the way the users search, for example when someone has an unanswered question or conflict, what do they do? Out comes the cellphone or tablet, waiting for a voice command or long tailed search question to be entered.
Google, now having this information, has adapted to give the users what they want. Google previous to Hummingbird would look at a long tailed search input such as, “What is Steve Yzerman’s birthday?” and give you search results to “Steve Yzerman” but not necessarily a connection of the question as asked. So Hummingbird was built to do just that: answer questions. Now if you were to type the same question a search window will appear with the answer atop the page.
This is excellent for the users because you no longer have to browse pages for the content you desire. But how does this affect SEO’s? Hummingbird giving the answers to questions that SEO’s sites provide can be a click reducer. Users are no longer clicking on the page that SEO’s worked hard to rank up. Swallow the sour milk and move on. This will not be detrimental to the SEO’s. The common good practices will still work and the sites will still move accordingly. The sites will simply have to “adapt or die” as Billy Beane states in Moneyball. Tailor future posts to fit the “how-to” nature of the common user and reap the benefits of the new algorithm. If not, someone surely will, Google or not.