What is the Hummingbird, The Google Algorithm

A Hummingbird used to just be a cute flittering thing we would run to see at our windows. Anyone who has a real estate website understands the importance of getting as many visitors as possible to that website. After all, without visitors coming to your site, there is no way that you are going to be able to find buyers or sellers for your real estate business.

You need to figure out a way to keep people coming back for more, but how can you do that? With all of the algorithms out there, it isn’t always easy to determine what you need to do to get the results you desire


hummingbird-algorithmMany people wonder why it is that Google keeps pushing out all of these algorithm changes. Not only are they confusing, but they seem like they are only making things more complicated for everyone involved. While no one can predict what the future updates are going to be and how they are going to affect them, they can find a way to make the most of it and embrace the changes. It’s all about figuring out what factors to focus on and what ones to avoid.

There have been four main algorithm updates that Google has implemented to date. You have Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and then Pigeon. Today, some are discussing groundhog which has to do with Local SEO. While these were the four main updates, Google still made tweaks here and there to their algorithm. They just didn’t go out and publicize all of them is all. However, that doesn’t mean that those tweaks didn’t have an impact on how your website ranked in the search engine. It could have caused your website to go from the first page of the search engines to the bottom of the fifth page in a relatively short amount of time. Even the smallest of changes can make a major difference in how your website ranks.

Changes to the Algorithm

Before being able to understand how the algorithms affect you, it is important that you have an understanding of what search engine algorithms are actually about. An algorithm is a logic-based, procedure used for being able to solve a problem. When it comes to the search engines, the problem is all about being able to find the most relevant webpage for a particular set of search terms. With the help of these algorithms, Google is able to return, rank and find the most relevant of all search results.

Computer screen shows word AlgorighmThere is a reason why Google ended up making it to the top of the search engines out there today. They focus on being able to deliver the absolute maximum results for each and every search out there. The main goal for Google is to be able to give consumers the answers they seek in the shortest amount of time possible. That’s why the algorithms are so important.

Google has strived to continue improving upon themselves right from the beginning. They work hard to be able to deliver answers to consumers as quickly as they can. They understand how pivotal time is to people today. They understand that people don’t have a lot of time to mess around with trying to get the answers they seek, especially if it is something medical related or something that could prevent someone from making a huge mistake in their life. Every moment is precious.

Because of the changes, Google started penalizing websites and pushing them farther back in the search engine rankings. Some of the other sites ended up getting a major surge in organic traffic and found themselves at the top of the search results. There was no way to predict what their new changes were going to be and how it was going to affect people. It was only about waiting to see what happened and finding out what needed to be done to embrace the changes and make the most out of a bad situation.

Changes to the algorithm can either be something minor or they can be a major overhaul. However, most of the changes have been pretty minor. For example, Google ended up making around 500 changes to their algorithm back in 2014 alone. That’s a lot of changes. Because of all those changes, many of the websites ended up losing their ranks in the search engines. For people who worked hard to get to where they were online, it can be extremely frustrating and disheartening to end up losing your ranking in the search engines just because of some change implemented by Google.

Core Benefits of Algorithm Changes

Over the last few years, many have noticed the positive effects stemming from Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and Pigeon updates. To help you better understand some of the core benefits, check out the information below.

CommitmentThe main goal for Google is to be able to help users find the information they seek in the shortest amount of time possible. with each passing update, it only helps to instill that commitment to the end-user. While there is still a great deal of work that Google needs to do to help improve search engine rankings, there is a good chance that you are going to end up finding relevant and informative results right on the front page of the search results.

If you search for something like the best tire brands, there is a good chance that the top results are going to have information related to the top brands on the market today and information about them to help you make an informed buying decision. Google wants to simplify your life, not make it more complicated. That’s why they keep pushing even more updates through to help bring about positive change in a way that benefits the end user and makes things as effortless and streamlined as possible.

Improved RankingsWhen it comes to content on your website, the length of the content is more important than you think. It used to be that people would push out a bunch of short content for the sake of having as much content as possible on their website. They thought it was going to help them get to the top of the search engines quicker. While that might have worked in the past, that isn’t the case now. It is all about the length of the content that matters today.

Longer content is going to end up dominating the search engines and get you into the rank you desire. Aim for at least 1,000-1,500 words per piece, if not more. However, it isn’t just about producing a long piece of content. The content also needs to be relevant. If the content is nothing but a bunch of fluff that doesn’t do anything to help anyone out, it isn’t going to be ranked very well. Google values long content, but that content also needs to be relevant and meaningful. Otherwise, you are wasting your time and not going to get the results you desire.

Before the introduction of Google Panda, thin content ranked extremely well. Content writers could easily write 300 words per post, throw in a few high PR links and get that content to the #1 rank on Google in no time. It would end up remaining there for months at a time without any additional effort on their part. That isn’t the case today. Panda changed all of that. Start churning out the longer content, ideally 2,500 words per piece, if you want to get to the top of the search engines and gain the exposure you desire.

Fresh Content – When publishing fresh content on your website, Google will end up scoring your website. Over the course of time, that score will end up fizzling out. That means that you need to continue adding fresh content to your website to keep it ranking in the search engines. A website auditor could be the key to helping you keep your website fresh. When the spiders crawl through your website and index your page, it creates that freshness score and puts your website where it deserves to be in the search engines.

If you continue updating your site with new, well-researched content that is at least 2,000 words or more, you can expect to receive better search engine rankings and more organic visitors from Google. For those who only publish a blog here and there, you can’t expect your site to be able to retain its position in the search engine rankings.

If you were to look at some of the more popular sites on the Internet today, you will find that they publish new content weekly. Then, there are those sites like Moz, who go out and publish a new piece of content daily. Their goal is to keep their website on top of the competition. To do so, they use an internal website auditor to make sure they aren’t missing out on something that they could be doing to improve their rankings even further.

Sites like Mashable end up publishing multiple pieces each day within minutes of another. When you push multiple documents out each day, there is a better chance of ranking higher and higher in the search engines in a shorter amount of time.

Brand Awareness – Brand awareness is more important than one might think. Before Google started penalizing websites for using tons of keyword-rich anchor text as internal links, you used to be able to use over-optimization to your advantage. Because of the changes in SEO, you shouldn’t focus entirely on building links in your post. However, you should be focused on making your anchor text a brand name of some sort or another. Using brand names can help get you further ahead than what you might realize.

Build links that help improve your brand and increase your relevance online. You don’t want to build links that aren’t going to boost your rankings. It’s all about organic rankings and getting your website the recognition it needs.

SO What is Hummingbird?

Hummingbird is a type of search algorithm that Google invented back on August 30, 2013. They didn’t announce the change until September 26, 2013 on the night of their 15th anniversary. While Hummingbird is focused on synonyms, it is also focused on context. While Google has always had synonyms, Hummingbird is in place to judge context. It focuses on judging the intention of the individual who is searching for something online to determine what it is that they are looking to find.

Hummingbird is focused on paying attention to every word an individual types into the search query. It aims to make sure that the whole sentence is accounted for when searching the Internet. Hummingbird understands what your intentions are and what it is that you want to find online. If you aren’t thinking like Hummingbird, you need to be when planning and managing the content you put on your website. You need to think about why it is that people are searching for something online, instead of focusing on just what it is that they are searching for. Content strategies should be aimed at meeting a person’s needs, not just giving them a bunch of facts on one subject or another.

What is a Search Query?
A search query is simply the keyword or set of words typed into the search browser by the person on the search engine.

How Hummingbird Works

Hummingbird utilizes 200+ ranking factors to determine the quality score and relevance of your website. It is the dividing line that distinguishes new SEO from older SEO. The focus is on the user and not just on putting a few keywords into the mix. Sure, keyword research is still important, especially if you are looking to enter a new market. If you want to produce content that is going to solve someone else’s problems, you need to focus on answering the question. Start by focusing on the user. Then, work on executing quality content. Finally, you can measure how much of an impact your website has using an auditing tool.

Keyword research is still important. However, you don’t want to just throw a bunch of keywords into your piece and call it good. You should focus on incorporating keywords that make sense into your piece while still focusing on delivering quality content that is going to help the user solve a problem. Hummingbird is dedicated to using long-tail keywords instead of just seed keywords. Those websites that use these long-tail keywords offer a lot of success. The majority of websites get their search traffic from these keywords, making them vital to your overall Internet success.

A long-tail keyword is a set of words rather than a single keyword designed to create a more focused search. Example: Real Estate (main keyword) Real Estate for sale in Las Vegas Under $200,000 (Long-tail)

When you employ the use of multiple long-tail keywords, you can help drive more traffic to your site. In the end, that means that you are going to stand a better chance of increasing your sales and getting more and more visitors to your website. Hummingbird is all about improving the end results for the user and giving people what they want.

Why Does Hummingbird Exist?

Hummingbird exists solely to help make the search and return websites more focused. It ensures that users get the information they need in the shortest amount of time possible. After all, no one wants to spend hours scouring through all of the different search engine results to try and find the answer to their question. With Hummingbird in place, all of that is a thing of the past. You know that the results that come up are the ones best designed to provide you with the information that you seek.

Hummingbird strives to make each interaction more human-like. It understands concepts and the key relationships between all of the keywords you type into the search engine. It places a great deal of emphasis on the page content, thus meaning that all of the search engine results are going to be more relevant and pertinent for the user. You are directed to the most appropriate page on the website, not just sent to the home page and forced to find the information you seek on your own.

Building a Hummingbird Friendly Website

If you are worried about being able to create a Hummingbird friendly website, it really isn’t as complicated as one might think. First, start out by taking an idea and brainstorming all of the different ways you can write about that one keyword. You want to produce as much content as you can focused on a specific set of keywords or a topic. The more original copy you have about one subject, the better your chances are of ranking higher in the search engines. However, you also want to make sure your content is long enough to gain the recognition that you seek. Aim for somewhere around the 2,000-word mark when writing new content.

Another way to make your site more Hummingbird friendly is to incorporate various blog categories and site mapping into the equation. Each time you come up with a new theme or blog category, you should create a category in your host provider. Such as a category for financial planning for homeowners or financial tools for college students. Then, when you load a bunch of content to that section on your website, it shows Google that you are an expert in that field.

Depending on the settings your blog has, your blog should end up updating your overall site hierarchy on its own. That helps improve your search engine rank further. The site map is what organizes everything and brings your website together. Google goes through this to gain an understanding of what it is that your site is all about. When your sitemap includes category URLs, Google will be able to crawl through them easier and see all of the different content inside of each category. That in turn will end up increasing Google’s ability to see how it is that your content is relevant and boost your ranking more.

Recovering from the Effects of Hummingbird

In the event your site was penalized by the implementation of Hummingbird, you are probably trying to figure out what it is that you can do to get back on track. After all, no one wants to go from the first or second page of the search results back to the tenth page. You want to be able to regain your rank quickly and get back in front of as many customers as possible. The more exposure your site has, the greater your chances are of being able to increase sales and grow your client base.

The best thing you can do to recover from a Hummingbird hit is to create content that focuses on answering queries instead of just writing content that is aimed at one particular keyword over another. While this is what you should be doing in the first place, that doesn’t mean that everyone does so. The main goal Google had in mind when introducing all of these changes was to get website owners producing content that is truly the best in the industry. They want to provide people with answers to their questions, not just provide a bunch of useless content that isn’t going to do anyone any good.

If you are able to produce content that answers the questions that people have, you will be on the right track to ranking higher in the search engines. Hummingbird isn’t like Penguin or Panda. If your site was demoted by the algorithm changes, the only thing you can do is to start giving Google what it wants to get your website back to where it needs to be. Otherwise, you aren’t going to be able to enjoy the benefits that lie before you with the Internet and all that it has to offer.

If you are new to the world of marketing and SEO, you might want to enlist the help of someone with the experience and know-how to get you where you want your website to be. It isn’t going to do you any good to have a website online if no one knows you exist. After all, the main goal is to get your site in front of as many people as possible to help boost sales and drive traffic. With Hummingbird in place, you need to focus on giving the customer the information that they need in the shortest amount of time possible.


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