Google hummingbird and what it means for local online marketing
This week, Google announced that they have made the largest upgrade to its search algorithm since 2001, dubbed Hummingbird. What most people don’t realize is that Google had already rolled out Hummingbird last month. And when the press department at Google was asked by Forbes when the release was made, their answer was that they (Goolge) “had been running Hummingbird for a few months, not just since last month.” In other words, if you didn’t see a negative change in your rankings your site is more than likely not going to be sent to page 200.
What does this mean for your local online marketing efforts? Not much as long as you are doing the things you should be doing. Most notably, it is a reminder to provide original and relevant high quality content since that is what is best for web users. The main change that I see with Hummingbird is that instead of Google trying to match keywords in queries, its new strategy is to manage more complex queries by trying to understand the meanings and relationships of words and concepts.
I have seen a lot of examples but for simplicity sake here is what that means. We typically do not search for keywords, we search for long tail terms. For example, if you are looking for a plumber in your city that specializes in “septic tanks” your search query will more than likely not look like this:
It would look more like this
“plumber in or near my city specializing in septic tanks”
Google understands this and with Hummingbird it is going to deliver more relevant results to improve the user experience. For the business owner providing this information, it improves the chances for the person conducting the search to take action and giving you a chance to make him/her your new customer.
There are other things you need to take into consideration such as geographically targeted landing pages and your website having a clear call to action, but for the purposes of this post, I will not get into details on this.
To summarize, be sure you are providing relevant and high quality content. Letting the search engines know what you do and where you do it is key for local online marketing success. If you need help with this, we’re a phone call away.