Google’s Hummingbird Update: How Will It Affect You?

This new update, appropriately labeled “Hummingbird”, was introduced in September 2013 and is the largest change to search algorithms since 2010.

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As we always recommend with a large change in search algorithm, monitor your site’s performance and adjust your On-Page and Off-Page SEO if necessary. It’s always best to follow best SEO practices and steer clear from obvious black hat SEO techniques such as keyword stuffing and hidden text. Read below for a brief summary about Hummingbird.


-Will implement ‘Conversational Search’ instead of pulling keywords from the query. It will now take into consideration every word in the search query to find the best possible result for the user.

-Reviews: There is a clear indication that good social media reviews (especially Google+) will result in better rankings for your website.

-Merchants: It will be well worth your time to review your site’s functionality and user experience. Google will now look closer at the quality of online merchants, and rank them accordingly, to give the user a better online shopping experience.

-Keep writing good, quality content that’s sharable and linkable. Write for the user, not for search engines.

-Claim authorship of your content using Google Authorship. Details are listed here.

-Keep your website content fresh and updated to increase return visitors to your site. As before, search engines prefer frequently updated website content and will rank those websites higher than dormant ones.

Social Media:

-Hummingbird gives more weight to posts that are highly shared (re-tweets, +1’s, shares, etc.).

-Google+ has a highly-weighted SEO ranking factor. Share your blog with your Google+ community to drive users to your site. All things Facebook are also highly weighted, so consider ramping up your Facebook marketing campaign to increase your likes and shared information.

Continue to monitor your online reputation and pay attention to online reviews. Resolve negative reviews quickly and professionally. By keeping your content interesting and relevent across all platforms, you are increasing the chance of repeat visitors, new visitors, sales conversions and an overall satisfactory user experience.

By Sandi O.
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