Hummingbird: What Has Changed And How It Affects You

9/10/2013 with

Dubbed by Amit Singhal as the biggest algorithm update since he joined Google in 2001, the Hummingbird is out, and here’s what it means for everyone.


Click HERE to download the MP3 and full PDF transcript

In this Video:

00:12 – Google’s Birthday Update
00:28 – Biggest One Yet As Dubbed By Amit Singhal
00:50 – How Does It Compare With Panda and  Penguin?
01:20 – What’s New With Hummingbird?
01:46 – #1 Semantic Style Search
02:08 – Conversational Style Search Is Now Okay
02:45 – Content Focused On Questions
03:08 – #2 Put Less Focus on Keywords
03:32 – #3 Shift Focus Toward Trust


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In this video, I’ll give you the full lowdown on Hummingbird, and I’ll tell you what you need to do as a website owner to adapt to this new algorithm.

Right on their 15th birthday Google have released a new algorithm called hummingbird. Like the bird itself, this algorithm is intended to be precise and fast. According to Amit Singhal who’s the head of Google Search, he said that this is the biggest update to be rolled out by Google since 2001 when he first joined the search engine. Is this update bigger than Panda and Penguin might you ask? Well yes because this is an entirely new algorithm, not just an update to the existing algorithm as was the case with both Panda and Penguin.

To describe this, we can actually use a metaphor, and the one that I am going to use is borrowed from Search Engine Land and they described this as the changing of a car engine. Hummingbird is an entirely new engine being placed in that car whereas Panda and Penguin were just changes of parts; perhaps Panda was the changing of the carburetor and perhaps Penguin was adding new valves in to that car engine; the hummingbird though is an entirely new car engine in itself.

So what’s new with this hummingbird algorithm and what do you need to do to adapt? Well the good news is if you follow what I teach here weekly with these updates or indeed you worked directly with my agency SEO Sherpa, there are no big changes. However there are a few tweaks or tune ups if you like that you can do to make that Hummingbird engine work better for your website.

open hand releasing humming bird

Okay, so let us look at my top three, and the first one relates to the fact that Hummingbird is really based on semantic style search. Well, what does that mean? It simply means that Hummingbird better understands the intent of a search by looking at the whole phrase rather than just focusing in with particular keywords that you’ve used to search within Google. Because Hummingbird is based on the semantic style search it adapts really well to conversational style questions. For instance if you pull out your mobile phone and use the Google app, you can perhaps ask a question like where is the nearest dry cleaners to me in Dubai Marina? The new Hummingbird algorithm will return much more precise answers than what previously possible with the old algorithm.

So what does that mean for you and your website? My suggestion is you adapt your content style to focus much more around questions, in fact a really good series of blog posts might be the Top 10 frequently asked questions that you get from your customers and prospects. These are the types of queries that people are now going to be doing within Google so it’s really great if you can have that content ready to answer those queries so that you pop up in the search results and not your competition.

My second tip is, you need not now put so much focus around keywords within your contents. While we will still include those keywords in the meta data of your site when optimizing it, the specific content  doesn’t need to be keyword focused but instead focus more on the theme that you want to rank for.

And thirdly, because Google doesn’t now put too much focus on keyword, they’ll now be shifting more focus towards trust. So what you need to do as a website owner is put together content creation plan that builds up your authority in your marketplace. You can do that yourself or we can help you with that. What you then need to do is to make sure that your content gets found with people with authority who will then share your content with their audience. And of course you then want to make sure that your content is placed on other high authority websites because that’s going to build up trust with Google.

So in short, I think that content syndication, good marketing, and link building is actually going to be more important than ever. Of course that’s what we do really well here at SEO Sherpa. If you are ready to get your website ranking higher with hummingbird, please contact us at This has been James Reynolds with another SEO update, please post your comments wherever you find this video and I look forward to interacting with you there.

About James Reynolds

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