The way we’re doing SEO is changing. Google has recently unveiled a new algorithm that redefines how web surfers interact with search engines. Unlike previous changes, “Hummingbird”, the name of Google’s new innovation, is expected to be one of the largest and most significant changes Google has made to their formula since 2001.
Isolating content has been declared by Google as an outdated process. This doesn’t mean it’s no longer relevant, but it does mean that over time, the phrases or keywords that one enters into their search to find what they’re looking for will change dramatically. Hummingbird focuses on semantic search, meaning conversational keywords are more relevant now than the primary phrase keywords which, until recently, were the industry standard.
Have you visited Google.com lately? You may have noticed that directly to the right of the search bar, you’ll see a microphone. Google wants to shift the way we do our searches so that we can literally speak the phrase through a microphone or a mobile device (like Siri on the Apple iPhone) and have it go to the corresponding landing page. For example, if you’ve been previously using a keyword such as “car mechanics” or “car repairs”, Google now puts more emphasis on conversational searches such as “Where can I get my car fixed?” or “I need a car mechanic”.
Another element behind Hummingbird is the implementation of the knowledge graph. The knowledge graph, over time, will make broad search keywords become a thing of the past. When you type in a broad term, the knowledge graph breaks that term down into a search that is more relevant to what you are actually looking for. If you’re used to typing in “shoe companies” to get more information on where to buy the latest footwear, the knowledge graph will break that down into what type of shoe, brand, company, location, and much more. It’s all to create a more intelligent response and give you a more relevant list of answers.
What this means for you and your business is that there is now a stronger need for identifying your landing pages intent, needs and problems than ever before, like your Unique Selling Proposition or USP. Keywords need to be more specific, less broad, long tailed and more natural than ever before.
It’s worth nothing that Hummingbird is a very new concept that’s been around for less than a month at the time of this writing. Although it will inevitably change the landscape of keyword research and how we optimize your landing pages, it will take time for Google to recalculate the relevance of all web pages in the world based on its new search algorithm. Your current landing pages are still very relevant and very crucial for optimal SEO results. But over the horizon, you can expect to see a shift in our style of keyword recommendations.