Ever since Google’s Hummingbird update was announced last month it caused quite a stir. Let me just cite one website where someone claimed that the Hummingbird update will have “significant consequences for content writing and general SEO, apparently affecting around 90% of searches.” (Seen here). I want to take this opportunity to clear up this myth about the recent Google update.
Google’s Hummingbird is one more step in Google’s attempt to better understand what people are in fact searching for online. One of the changes of this latest update is that the phrases and keywords typed in Google will become less important since the algorithm in Hummingbird is about finding the true meaning and intent of what people use when they use a search engine. This is what Google refers to as “conversational Search”. One could also say that the Hummingbird update means that they are now becoming smarter and more flexible in finding and displaying relevant content.
What does Hummingbird Mean for Content Writers?
Will Writers have to Rethink their Entire Strategy Now?
In contrast to the above-mentioned myth that the Hummingbird update will be a significant change, nothing can be further from the truth. Reality is that content writers should welcome the Hummingbird update since it is very supporting for engaging and helpful content. After the previous Google algorithm updates it should have already become clear for many content creators that factors such as keyword density and similar nonsense are not important any longer. Hummingbird is just one more step in the same direction where Google aims to make its search engine smarter in trying to understand more natural conversational patterns people use when they type in a search engine.
This will become even more important with the increasing number of mobile devices like iPads or iPhones where natural speech will soon replace input from a keyboard.People will not type in keywords and phrases any longer but will instead engage into a conversation with the search engine that may pretty much resemble natural speech.
Hummingbird is the Google algorithm that makes strict phrases and keywords even less important. Hummingbird makes it possible that the search engine now gets an idea about the meaning and relevancy of content in a more natural way, away from the concept of phrases and keywords. For content writers those are indeed good times.
Will I have to change my writing style after the Hummingbird update?
Google’s Hummingbird update will not have a dramatic impact if you are already a good writer, means you’re already aware that you’re not writing for the search engines but aim to deliver great and engaging content for your audience.
Then again, there is one change that should be important to keep in mind: With the improved search algorithm the search engine can now understand more complex searches. And with longer and more complex searches comes an increased demand for more targeted and more specialized content!
As a result of this you may want to consider two create more specialized and targeted content as opposed to writing too broad and too general. A too broad piece of content will hardly be of use for those who look for a solution for a particular problem. For example, rather than writing a general and more or less useless piece about gardening you could write a piece about how to make an organic vegetable garden. You may get even more specific writing about how to grow organic tomatoes in a green house. Those are just examples but I’m sure you see where I’m going with this.
More specialized and more targeted searches are what Google’s Hummingbird is all about where content creation is concerned: Write good content that is helpful and engaging and Google’s Hummingbird is your friend.