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Google Hummingbird: 6 Tips to Keep Your Ranking

The Google Hummingbird update happened just over a month ago, implemented without much notice and announced just weeks before. While the former algorithm, Panda, penalized websites that were stuffed with keywords, this time content is the focus. The update is intended to help searchers understand the websites language and focus on what problems they are trying to solve.

Hummingbird is essentially a reprogramming of the search engine to determine meanings of phrases and words, and their context. It’s intended to enhance Google’s semantic search capabilities. What does this mean in terms of website content and how do you consider the update in your marketing strategy?

So far, the update addresses several trends:

  • A simpler search experience for mobile devices.
  • Support for complex search queries from users looking to solve a problem, answer a question, or look for a product.
  • Demand for relevant and helpful content.
  • The need for marketers to integrate social media and the importance of reputation, authority, and social signals in credibility.
  • Future support for voice-guided searches.

How to Optimize Website Content for Hummingbird

With another update to Google’s algorithm, comes website owners wondering how to maintain their page rankings. Here are several tips on how to concentrate your efforts.

1. Consider the Customer – It is more important than ever to think about what customers want and why they are visiting your site in the first place. A look into what your content says about the product, service, or solution the user is looking for will help steer your content. If the website is about a particular travel destination, for example, details on what’s there, the best things to see, local customs, languages spoken, etc. are important.

Include as much useful information as possible. Simply adding more keywords and links will no longer do the trick for rankings. The customer needs to see important details to make a decision. Google is focused on parsing out which sites actually have quality content.

2. Analytics – Content can be analyzed by search tools, which mimic the behavior of Google. With these, you can review data on what your target web audience is looking for. You are, in effect, analyzing the user’s intent. With this information, you can optimize the content with information your viewers want to see. A wide range of analytics tools are available online from various providers to help get you started.

3. Expand Your Content Media – Blogs are a great way to expand your reach. They can provide a massive amount of information. But, people these days are looking for more than just a blog. Start adding multimedia to your blog, including: videos, graphics, e-books, and white papers. Don’t just spam. What you include should be relevant content and serve a purpose to your readership.

4. Use Language Instead of Keywords – Keywords were effective in the past as simply a match for words and phrases. With Hummingbird this is no longer the case. Now you must consider how your content is structured. Sentence structure, descriptions of products and services, and even alternative words and phrases are important. This is because the update reflects people that use mobile and voice search.

5. Expand Your Social Focus – Social media is key to staying afloat. Your rankings will increase by letting people share content on their profiles and discuss your products, services, and expertise online. Make sure to provide your audience with engaging and informative content. 12 Palms Rehabilitation, for example, features themes for each day of the week, like Motivational Monday, Sober Saturday, etc., to get their visitors engaged.

6. Be Sales Minded – Remember, a content marketing strategy only works as a compliment to your sales effort. This means relevance and synergy are more important than ever. Hummingbird reflects that, and helps customers find exactly what they are looking for.

By following these tips, it will be easier to maintain the ranking of your content. Google Hummingbird values information that is useful for the average customer. It’s already in place, so start adapting right away.

Author Bio: Savannah Marie is a social media enthusiast and editor for her blog. When she isn’t writing, you can find her walking a trail with her favorite yellow lab, Remington, baking something delicious, or reading a classic.

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