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What is Google Hummingbird? Definition & How to Optimize It

Last updated: Jun 20, 2024

Google Hummingbird
Cover image: Illustration of Google Hummingbird.

What is Google Hummingbird?

The Google Hummingbird is an algorithm update released in August 2023 with a focus on Google search queries to show relevant results to users. 

Different from previous algorithm updates, such as Panda and Pigeon, this Google algorithm not only changes the way Google processes queries but also marks a total rewrite of the algorithm core.

Through this update, you can easily find more relevant results as Google better understands the queries you write down. 

In addition, this update also plays a role in voice search on mobile devices. It aims to make it easier for users to search for information using natural or conversational language.

 

How Google Hummingbird Works

After understanding the definition, you might be curious about how the Google Hummingbird algorithm works. Let's take a look at the following explanation.

The previous algorithm only displayed specific query results, for example, if you want to search for a "sofa" then you have to type the keyword "sofa" to get the same results. 

Different from that algorithm, this update can now display broader results with indirect queries. 

For instance, you want to search for "sofa", but you use different keywords such as "seating for two" or "sitting room furniture". 

In this case, Google will still show search results for everything related to your query, including "sofa".

This means that through the Hummingbird algorithm, Google can better understand what you are talking about even if it is implied. 

The main purpose of Google Hummingbird algorithm is to implement meaning technology, which is Google's approach to making interactions with users feel more human even if users don't enter the proper query.
 

The Impact of Google Hummingbird on SEO

Apart from understanding the definition of this update, you should also understand its impact on SEO. 

Google Hummingbird affects about 90% of SEO searches. However, the impact is small because the Hummingbird algorithm focuses on user search queries. 

In most cases, this Google algorithm assesses the relevance of a website by considering the context of the query submitted by the user.

Thus, if you are a business website, then your main focus should be to provide relevant, quality content that meets the needs of users, rather than just using a lot of keywords or keyword stuffing

 

How to Optimize After Google Hummingbird Update

If you already understand the definition and its impact on SEO, then it's time for you to learn how to optimize after its update so that the content created becomes more relevant and easily found by users.

Here are some strategies that can help you optimize your content to meet the requirements of this algorithm update:
 

1. Keyword Research

The first step is to conduct keyword research. Keyword research remains important as it can help understand the needs of potential customers. 

You can customize your content strategy to increase organic traffic and provide more opportunities for conversion. 

With the help of keyword search tools, such as Google Keyword Planner, you can obtain information such as search location, keyword popularity in real-time, and relevant keywords. 

Thus, you can consider keyword difficulty and search volume to filter out keywords that match your business goals.

 

2. Create Quality Content 

The next optimization method is to ensure that your high-quality content presents new information that is not provided by competitors. 

Google, as the largest search engine platform, also considers that the quality of content highly affects their performance. 

According to Google, good content should convey experience, expertise, authority, and trust (E-E-A-T). 

Below are a few guidelines to assist you in crafting impactful content:

  • Conduct Competitor Research: Understanding competitor content can create something similar and identify content gaps that need to be filled.
  • Using Experts in the Material: Involve experts in the topics you cover to increase audience trust.
  • Creating Anecdotal Content: Present authentic stories involving your brand, clients, or customers to distinguish your content.
  • Make Readable Content: Ensure the content is easy to read with short sentences, one idea per paragraph, and the use of engaging images.
  • Write In-Depth Content: Go deeper than competitors and provide more comprehensive answers. 

 

3. Use Schema Markup 

Schema markup is code that describes parts of a website in a way that Google can easily understand.

Google uses schema markup to understand the meaning behind different pieces of content to display more informative search results to users. For example, recipe markup displays results for recipe ingredients and cooking times.

While there is no certain proof that the use of schema markup directly affects website rankings, at least it helps Google to present useful information more quickly to users.
 

4. Use Link Building Strategy

The last step in this algorithm optimization is link building. The goal is to direct users and search engines to relevant and useful content within the website.

By using the right anchor text and good internal links, you can strengthen page authority and increase user engagement.

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