Updated January 13, 2023Reading Time: 2 minutes
Some Say Yes, Some Say Dunno
The dust is still settling on the major algorithm change called Hummingbird. In our business circles, everyone is talking about it. The SEO world is sifting through the data and rubble of dropped rankings. In this post we’ll share some wisdom that’s been shared within the SEO community. More importantly we’ll explain how it affects a business’ organic search results.
Search Behavior: In the Form of Questions
We are searching more and more via our mobile devices. We’re using our voice and not a keypad to enter a search (especially if we live in a drive hands-free state). Because it takes less time to ask a question out loud, search phrases are longer. They are also typically in the form of a question. That behavior change is now reflected in Google’s search algorithm.
Quality Content Keeps It Crown
For those businesses committed to adding quality, juicy content on their site, you probably haven’t seen dramatic plunges in SEO rankings. In actuality, we’ve experienced a boost. Our traffic has sharply increased and our Analytics show some healthy growth. That said, Google’s Hummingbird is less reliant on keywords. Remember, the algorithm change focused on search intent.
Even so, be prepared to make optimization tweaks. We often tell our clients “SEO is a journey, not a destination.” Trends and semantics change. As a result your content needs to evolve. Given Hummingbird is all about questions, look at your content with fresh eyes. Is your content question friendly?
And The Answer Is?
Back to our original question: Does Hummingbird affect links?
Links from authoritative, relevant sources to your website are still very valuable. It’s absolutely a component of the 200+ variables within the Hummingbird algorithm. Let me say this again: Credible backlinks are important. Google’s Penguin releases smacked unnatural links hard. Links continue to influence PageRank. If you’re worried about your backlinks, go to Webmaster Tools and analyze them. If your previous Webmaster used shady practices (like purchasing links), then be ready to invest in a clean-up project.
Eric Ward, the Link Building guru, shared his wisdom via Search Engine Land with a blog “How Will Google Hummingbird Impact Links?” If you’ve got the time (and technical inclination) I suggest reading it. I hit the high points above, but here are some other insights you should note:
- Authorship – just do it. If you need to know why, than check out Wednesday’s post which includes where to find stats.
- Quality Content – trust and authority remain king. “Provide content that helps people solve problems, or better yet, teaches them something.”
- Link Options – focus on your audience and leverage ways you can reach them (e.g., YouTube video or Google Hangout).
Are you soaring on Hummingbird’s wings?