Google Hummingbird is a search algorithm update published by the search giant in September 2013. The update aims to make the search faster and more precise, by incorporating what Google calls “conversational search.” In this article, you will find some ideas to make your content Hummingbird-friendly.
Educate your readers
One of the priorities of Google Hummingbird is long-tail search (aka natural search). These days, the results are more accurate for search queries formatted like questions. Most of the voice searches from smart phones and tablets tend to be in the conversational form. One way you can provide more value to your readers is by answering their questions and educating them. How-to articles, educational articles, tutorials, etc., that do not contain unnecessary technical jargon should rank very well in Google search.
Provide evergreen content
Evergreen articles are not tied to a timeframe. Unlike an article related to an event or a specific version of a software application, evergreen articles target a general problem. These articles can be very detailed, long, and capable of answering a number of questions. Also, such articles tend to be valuable to the searchers for a long time in the future.
Hence, over time, these articles tend to accumulate links, trust, and authority. They have every chance to become some of the most visited pages in any domain. If the content is valuable enough, even future search algorithm updates will not degrade its ranking.
Restructure your FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is a type of content that has potential to rank very high in search these days. Traditionally, FAQ pages have less SEO value than regular articles and blog posts. The reason is the FAQ focuses on product-specific questions, appears on one page, and tends not to accumulate links. Hence FAQ pages get tied to specific products and companies, and hence they may not rank well enough in search. However, there are ways by which you can make a FAQ article rise to the top of search results. Firstly, make the answers in each question as detailed as possible with internal links and images if necessary. Put each of these answers in a separate page, such as a blog post, and link the question to that blog entry. The advantage of this technique is you have a new page to rank; it has a keyword-rich internal link, and the page is well optimized for a specific question.
Social content that can go viral
Google has been working hard at improving the social media aspect of search. Search now takes into account how many Facebook Likes and Twitter shares your content gets. Although now most of the social media is quite safe and unexplored by the search giant, marketers should refrain from spamming the social channels for Likes and shares. Providing content that attracts readers and makes them want to share is very important. Genuine shares should provide far more value than spamming.
Case studies and in-depth analyses
In-depth analysis in articles provides detailed information on a topic, and that should be your focus. These articles have quite a bit of information and are capable of answering several questions. You can make such articles even richer by adding case studies. Multimedia content, images videos, and interactive content, can also be very effective in these articles. Google, since the beginning of 2013, has shifted focus to in-depth content.
Google Hummingbird is a topic of discussion these days in SEO circles. Content marketers are looking for good ways to optimize their content to make them available to visitors through search. Web spam has gone down way below in searh results. It goes without saying how careful you have to be in providing valuable content to your readers.