Google Hummingbird was actually released in the second half of August 2013, around a month ago from the time when Google officially announced Hummingbird update on September 26, 2013. It’s a major change in search algorithm that Google did to better understand the intent of users search queries and serve best possible results.
The primary objective to bring hummingbird was to more accurately understand the actual meaning of long search queries and to show specific results that match best to the intent of the searcher. It is widely believed that Google’s ability to show high-quality search results for long-tail keywords and conversational queries is drastically improved with the Hummingbird update. For example, if you type a specific question about a company, product or personality; Google will try its best to show you pages containing answer of your question rather than matching keywords and showing general pages.
Does Hummingbird update penalize websites?
No, Hummingbird update does not penalize sites. It is different from Panda and Penguin updates which were designed to fight spam. There was no major change recorded in the rankings when it was first introduced. In addition, most of the webmasters did not report any negative impact of Hummingbird on their websites. But Google Hummingbird does reward and promote websites that offer easy to read content and directly answer visitor’s search queries.
How to optimize for Google Hummingbird?
Hummingbird SEO is certainly not difficult. There is a signal for all the webmasters in it that the Google does not see search terms only as a string of words. Google wants to convey a message to all website owners: it is enhancing its ability to find out the true intent of search queries and now better understands the context.
Here are a few things can do to take benefit of Hummingbird:
- First of all, instead of stuffing keywords in the content, focus on understanding the real intent of the search queries and then providing best possible answers in the most simple language. As a result, you can rank better for your desired search queries.
- Avoid complex sentences and words as much as possible. This will make your content highly readable and easy to grasp.
- Use natural language as humans generally speak to interact with each other.
Finally, in my opinion, Hummingbird algorithm update is a wakeup call for all the SEOs and internet marketers to give more attention to searcher intent, not the keywords. Because if a page is matching the intent of the searcher; it is bound to rank higher in the Google search results.