Google has named its latest update Hummingbird because “it’s faster and more precise”.

Considering what the update means for results brought back in searches, it’s a very apt name indeed.

Google is no stranger to releasing updates to its algorithm, the mechanics behind why websites appear where they do for search phrases.

The search engine giant is constantly reviewing ways to give the user the types of websites that they want. It does this by focusing on how they search.

Question and answers

Searches are becoming more complex with users moving away from simply inputting key words or phrases into Google. Search queries are becoming more conversational with the rise in mobile and voice-based search.

People expect to ask a question and receive accurate answers, and Google attempts to deliver what people expect. Note the word ‘answers’. Your website needs to answer questions your customers have.

Prior to the changes, a search for “how do I connect a HDMI lead from my laptop to my TV” would have emphasised ‘HDMI lead’, ‘laptop’ and ‘TV’. The vast majority of results will have pointed you towards sellers of the lead, laptops or TVs.

Now, the same search will bring back different results. The Hummingbird update means Google will break down the query, analyse it and provide a list of websites that best answer the question.

In this instance, a greater emphasis will be placed on the ‘how do I’ part of the phrase. The user is clearly looking for help as opposed to a product or service.

Content is the key to unlocking your website’s potential

From our point of view, nothing much has changed with how we, as a content marketing agency, operate. Outwrite has always created high quality content for websites and social media.

Content is, and always will be, at the heart of successful online marketing. But the subject of the content has stepped into the limelight following Google’s latest algorithm change.

The focus has shifted away from websites simply placing a keyword in the page title, headline and throughout the article to rank highly for that word or phrase.

Google values positive audience interaction above anything else. People linking to your site’s content, commenting on articles and sharing on social media will thrust your site into Google’s eyes as a trustworthy, useful source.

Once there, expect traffic to your website to increase with relevant visitors.