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Google Hummingbird - Should I Hit the Panic Button

Updated on December 19, 2013

Vince Lombardi once said that perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can achieve excellence. This is the motto that Google has taken a liking to. They are chasing perfection which is the reason why they are making constant algorithm changes so that they can fine tune their system and offer up better search results to the user. In the last year or so, this quest for perfection has made Google to introduce two game changing updates in the form of Google Panda and Penguin. Even though these updates did not make Google perfect, they did make it a whole lot better. No doubt they both ruffled some feathers and many SEO pundits were taken off guard by them but they did make the searching process better for the user.

Continuing on their chase for perfection, Google has come up with yet another update which is being tipped by Google’s algorithm genius, Amit Sanghal, as the most important update of his career. Let’s have a look at it and decide whether it is going to have the same impact as its predecessors did.


No Impacts to Report

On the face of it, Hummingbird has hardly had an impact. Nothing has changed in the slightest bit or people have not really felt it because it did not affect them that much. All the website rankings have remained unchanged and there hasn’t been any visible improvement in the search results department. Even though it has been almost three months since the Hummingbird update was launched by Google and still people only found out about it when Google officially broke the news at the end of September.

Focal Point of the Hummingbird Update

The reason why any impact of this latest update introduced by Google was not felt by any of us is because its focus was primarily on long-tail keywords. Hummingbird actually is a step towards making Google a better search engine for searches that are made using the “Speak Now” tool in which the user asks a question from Google instead of typing in a bunch of keywords. The Hummingbird update is thus Google’s attempt at being a better search engine for searches made in a conversational manner which mostly happen when the person is using a Smartphone.


Is My SEO Strategy under Threat?

As is the case with every new update introduced by Google, people started worrying whether the Hummingbird update is going to adversely affect their SEO strategies or not and started asking if they need to start making any changes. Well, the answer to this concern is a flat no. The Hummingbird update will not do any harm whatsoever to the SEO you have performed on your website as long as you have been doing your SEO the right way. If you are incorporating the use of social media and guest blogging for increasing your viewership and making use of keywords in a sensible manner so that they not look as if they have been stuffed in to the content then by and large you will remain safe.

What Does the Hummingbird Update Teach Us?

The Hummingbird update is a clear message from Google that the new era is that of conversational searching and in that era only those websites are going to be given precedence who offer the best content related to the conversational search made by the user. It teaches us that it is our content that is crucial for getting our website more exposure and increasing the amount of traffic it receives rather than stuffing keywords. By virtue of this update, a search made using a long-tail keyword would take the user to your website instead of any other website that might have more authority than you if and only if you have the content on your website that corresponds to the search made.

As more and more people are now switching to search the internet using their Smartphones and make use of the conversational searching method in which typically a long-tailed keyword is used, the only thing that can help you in topping the SERPs for such searches and increasing your audience is to have informative and relatable content on show at your website.

The Bottom Line

Thus, it is obvious that the Hummingbird update is not going to affect any of your SEO strategies any time soon. However, the update clearly suggests that you must step up your game as far as the quality of your content is concerned.


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