7 Simple Tips for Using Google’s “Hummingbird” to the MAX!

7 Simple Tips for Using Google’s “Hummingbird” to the MAX!

What is Google’s “Hummingbird” and how will it impact my website visitors?


In late September, Google quietly added their newest member to their wacky zoo of updates.  Their latest algorithm, Hummingbird, joins the likes of Panda and Penguin. The launch was so quiet in fact that it ran for about a month before Google even breathed a word about it.

What is Google Hummingbird?

Unlike Penguin and Panda that are filters, Hummingbird is an algorithm that uses intelligence to determine the purpose of your content, based on your collection of information. Hummingbird impacted about 90% of searches worldwide (unlike Penguin that only affected ~ 3% of searches)  but don’t be alarmed. Hummingbird is not designed to weed out bad websites or cause your site to drop in rankings.

Google-Hummingbird1Google’s Amit Singhal  explains that “With more complex queries, the algorithm can better understand concepts vs. words as well as relationships between concepts.”

Hummingbird focuses on what is referred to as “Natural Language Processing”. This means Hummingbird can crawl your website and think – “Now what does this all mean and what kind of visitors would benefit from this information”.  In other words, rather than focus on keywords and popular phrases to find relevant websites, this little guy can determine the theme and purpose of your site by looking at ALL your content. It then interprets what your website offers to others as a whole.  It’s no longer about ranking specific articles or words but rather, offering up your entire website as a full body of quality content that answers their questions satisfies their search queries.  Panda and Penguin will continue to run as filters and will likely continue as components of Hummingbird.

The Hummingbird implementation comes just a few short months after Google changed its keyword analytics tool. Another indication that it is moving away from ranking sites merely based on key words and phrases, to ranking sites based on their full body of content.

This is GOOD NEWS For You!

Most legitimate websites do focus on the specific aspects of their business, so this is a good thing for you. You may even find a spike in your website traffic due to Hummingbird.   You will not be competing with millions of other websites that use a common word or phrase but rather, you are now only competing with websites that contain all the solid content on a particular topic like yours.

Once Google understands the purpose and theme of your website, you should notice improved traffic and more importantly – better targeted traffic – people looking for your specific products and services rather than just an obscure page with the keyword embedded it in several times.

TIP 1:

To get the most of Hummingbird, think about the common theme of your website – who is it for, what questions does it answer and what problems does it solve.  Once you know this, you will want to go through your website to insure your content all revolves around answering, solving and addressing these questions within your common theme.

TIP 2:

You will also want to check over your navigation and the links within your website itself. Hummingbird will continue to rely on link analysis as one of the 200 ingredients that Google uses to rank websites. Your site should contain a combination of both follow and no-follow links, to easily steer the search bots around your website without kicking them out too soon. Think of your links like pathways within your website. Each article or website should link to similar pages (using follow links) , with any external links using the no-follow syntax so as not to drive the search bots off your site before they have had a chance to fully search and index your content.

What Does It All Mean For You?

Search engine optimization and quality content are still vital components to ranking high and delivering the best customer experience you can. In fact, quality content that aligns to your websites main theme and purpose is even more important than ever before.

Here are 5 more simple tips you can use to get the most out of Google: googlehummingbird3

  1. Do not over-do it with keywords. Keep them short (2-3) and very specific to the topic of the page.
  2. Sprinkle authority links lightly. Use linking where it makes sense and do not over do it. Again, be careful not to use ‘follow’ links when linking to external sources, as this will take the search bots off your website. As well, don’t use more than 2-3 links within an article or page of content itself – just where it makes sense to do so.
  3. Mix in your social media with your website. Having a larger web presence (multi-sites, including social media that are all connected) presents a much clearer picture that one website or individual social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. There are some great plug-ins and tools that allow you to show your Twitter feed and Facebook Likes on your websites.  Use them – then be actively engaged with your friends and followers.
  4. Make sure your website is mobile friendly or at least responsive. This means it will re-size itself automatically to fit tablets and smart phones.
  5. Have a website content and social media strategy to insure you are hitting all the right elements and getting the best results for your efforts.

Feeling overwhelmed?

No one is expected to know everything there is to know about everything! And if you’re busy running your buisness, you may not have the time or the interest to get into all this “web stuff”.  I can help.

Whether you just have a question or are in need some help with a site review or in developing a content and social media strategy to really maximize your results, feel free to reach out for a free 30 minute consultation. We can chat via phone – skype or in person (if you’re local and you buy the coffee 🙂 No strings attached. Simply contact me and I’ll be in touch shortly with a day and time works for both of us.

Until next time,


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