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Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird - should I worry?

28th October 2013
Categories: google, seo

SEO "Experts" want you to worry about Google algorithm updates. They want you to think that nasty bad old Google is making changes that will affect you, and only those clever Search Engine "professionals" can dig you out of that hole.

The latest "update" is an improvement to the the search engine's handling of questions, and of its understanding of the relevance of your search or question.  Actually Google is updating its software all the time, and the "update" is basically a round-up of a set of changes which Amit Singhal announced on Google's 15th birthday.

Google search results are of course very different to Yellow Pages, and not all pages can be the top 10 most relevant pages for a particular phrase.  When people say they've been "attacked" by Google, and try to pick on an "update", it's really like saying that they've been attacked by the motorway, when they're going at 65 and another car happens to be going at 70.

What can we expect from Hummingbird?

Hummingbird is about users - Amit Singhal talks about looking for works of art and comparing genres - or comparing food ingredients, and the idea of remembering "context" - i.e. what you just asked about.  In other words, "search" is becoming more of a conversation than a single question.

In a nutshell, the Hummingbird update is aimed at giving users answers to their questions - rather than putting your competitor above you in natural search listings.

Sow what can we learn from Hummingbird?

If your service or product answers a question, and more people are going to be asking that question because of the update, then why not ask that question on your website? 

So for example, if cheese is your thing, your website should use questions like "where can I buy cheese?" and not just statements.

This approach isn't the official line on Hummingbird, but it makes sense that you adapt (or gather, grow) your copy to include the phrases people most often use.

For more SEO advice, follow the "seo" link at the top of this article. Enjoy!

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