I kicked off Day two at SMX East in the SEO Track session with: What Is Hummingbird & the Entity Search Revolution? Knowing the session was moderated by Search Engine Land founder Danny Sullivan, I knew this session would truly dive deep into one of Google’s algorithm engine replacements from 2013 and give insight for what small businesses can do with the equally important and ambiguous topic that is semantic search. With a panel that included a vice president of marketing, a director of search marketing, and a chief technologist officer, we didn’t waste any time diving into what any SEO agency (or in-house SEO team) should know and do with Hummingbird and Entity Search.
About the Hummingbird Update
Google put a bigger focus on user intent and on September 26, 2013 with an algorithm replacement that become known as Hummingbird. With other Google updates (such as Panda, Penguin, and Pigeon), Google was replacing parts of their search algorithm engine. With Hummingbird, they replaced the entire engine and used new and old parts reorganized to meet and serve the demand for search. Users are increasingly looking for answers, wanting Google to understand keyword relations and expecting Google to know what they want. This is Google’s response.
How Hummingbird Impacts SEO
When it comes to your business’s SEO, Hummingbird is a good change and update. When it comes to your customers or website visitors, Hummingbird is great.
Here’s what the Hummingbird update means for your SEO strategy:
Long tail keywords are increasingly more important than ever (Google looks for patterns and relationships among your keywords to help answer search users’ questions)
Keyword research has expanded to include identifying co-occurring terms (pay attention to autosuggest and words that are related/frequently found near each other; for example, if you’re mentioning LeBron, Google expects that a good piece of content would include mention of the Heat and Cleveland)
If Google understands content, there no longer needs to be a page for each particular keyword (do you really need a page for heating repair and furnace repair? Google likely knows how the two are related).
Personalized Search & Query Patterns
Be careful about the assumptions that you make when testing your pages and looking into the analytics of keywords driving to your site (personalized search that incorporates recent search terms can impact individual SERPs). What does that mean? When you search for “cats” on Google, the search engine will take into account search patterns. Have you recently been searching for cute cat videos? Expect results with more fluffy, cute images and videos. Have you been on Ticketmaster looking for Broadway shows? You might receive results related to Cats the musical. Are you looking up transportation in Charlotte? You might receive more results related to Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS).
About the Speakers
Warren Lee is vice president of marketing at Lee. He also drives SEO strategies at ADOBE as a Global SEO Manager—responsible for over 48 million monthly visitors from organic search to www.adobe.com and other ADOBE web properties.
Bill Slawski is the director of search marketing at Go Fish Digital. Authoring over a thousand blog posts, Slawski focuses on patents and papers from the search engines.
Marcus Tober is the chief technology officer at Searchmetrics. He works with worldwide companies such as Siemens, T-Mobile, and Lufthansa.
Follow Blue Corona at SMX East!
Curious as to what Ben and Hannah are up to in the Big Apple? Follow them on Twitter at @BenLanders and @Hannah_Bernice. Be sure to check out more SMX Live Blog posts from our team and the official conference Twitter (@SMX) and hashtag (#SMX).
About The Author: Hannah is the SEO Team Lead at Blue Corona. If she's not busy daydreaming about the training session for her team, you can find her improving client conversion rates and planning her next trip.
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