Well, Google has rolled out another algo update, this time they’ve gone the feathered friend route and called it Hummingbird.
Of course, they roll out hundreds of updates a year, but this one is around the same size of Caffeine, Panda and Penguin apparently.
It’s supposed to represent how fast and precise their search engine is…just like a Hummingbird
I’ve not been a fan of Google updates in the past, (especially when they cut into my income!) but this time I think it’s going to be a positive force instead of negative.
Google get things wrong a lot of the time, you only have to look at those spammy little one-page-wonders sitting proudly on the top spot with your high quality, relative website lurking on page 20 or something…but I think times, they are a’changing.
This Hummingbird update will ultimately help searchers get what they really want without having to plow through several searches to find their goal.
Hummingbird and Long Tail Key Phrases
With the Internet being so huge, we now have to type in a longer question or query in our searches to dig down to what we really want…(welcome back LTK’s)
Imagine going into a high street store, going up to an assistant and saying ‘jacket’. The assistant will then ask you a number of questions from size, gender, colour, etc…all questions you have to answer and therefore wasting valuable time. You will get there in the end, but the experience was a bit messy.
Now, go up to the assistant and ask “I want a men’s, extra large, brown jacket for winter” and you’ll shown the range straight away. A really targeted question that gets instant results.
Searchers are more prone to put whole questions into the search bar and Google wants to answer them by pinpointing the exact query.
That’s what Google likes, natural, targeted questions, so their Data engines can go to work and get the exact answer, and if your site has the exact question, with the answer, well, you’re going to get on with Google like a house on fire!
Let me ask you a question. When searching in Google do you ask a question or just put in a general term? I bet you ask the question, or the exact product name you’re after.
Again, Google wants the question, so they can be clever, search their Data and target the answer as quickly as possible, therefore giving the user a great experience in delivering the goods.
And like the Google suggestion box, how many times have you started a search and then clicked on the suggestion Google gives to save you time typing the rest? Many times, I’ll wager.
This can only be good for Niche sites. If you have a website that is totally one product, or one branch of a series of products, with those long tail queries in the content, Google has no choice but to sit up and take notice. You should be able to rank for whatever you’re niche is.
Voice recognition software for mobile searches is going to be huge soon. The searcher asks a natural question instead of typing it and gets a more accurate result. That’s what I believe Google is striving to achieve with typed searches too. (see the little microphone for voice recognition purposes in the pic above)
The Hummingbird update was delivered at the end of September 2013, so it’s pretty new. I don’t think a lot of sites were hit, it seems it’s a ‘from now on’ sort of update…I could be wrong.
What Can I Do To Keep Hummingbird Happy?
Lets look at this logically. Now, I’m talking about your main sites here…your money sites, not the little feeder sites like web 2.0’s, blogs, etc.
Hummingbird ultimately wants relevancy. Your posts should be at least 2,000 words of great quality with long tail phrases in them. They must look, and act, natural. The inclusion of 10-20 good long tail phrases certainly add up and if they’re what people are searching for, you will get visitors.
Spend a couple of days writing the post or article, make it the best informative post on your subject. A well researched, well written and informative post will keep you in good stead for a long time…and will please Google no end! Make sure it’s totally on the subject and accurate. Answer all the queries people ask about it, really get deep.
Your main sites don’t have to be million page wonders either. As long as the content is bang on the money, then a few pages will be fine. And as long as you have at least one great piece of work that answers all the questions from a particular search, in depth…then the user will be happy, that means it’s truly good enough for Google. Treat it like a website you would like to land on if you asked the question.
Obviously, avoid very black hat techniques such as blasting a zillion links to you money site, in fact, don’t go after backlinks at all if it’s a new site…your great content should be able to gain traction and rank in your niche all by its own.
When eventually you do go looking for backlinks, go to aged websites that have good backlinks linking back to them in your niche.
A post on a reputable forum, or blog post on a high PR relevant site is a good idea, because if you’ve worked hard on your post, you will be proud of it and share it.
Only ever go after top quality backlinks to your money website…if your website is that good, you will only WANT quality backlinks and not those spammy crappy links that could kill all your hard work.
Check out their domain age by going here and also see how many backlinks are pointing to it at the same time. Thousands of links going to a site less than a year old is probably bad news!
Don’t use spun content for your main sites, Google will be able to tell a mile away if you’re trying to game them and they won’t be happy if you try that!
Produce The Goods
If you want great quality content but can’t write, or simply can’t be bothered to produce it, then get a good writer to do it for you. Outsource it and be prepared to pay anything from $25 to $100 for a single article. Read over it and if you’re not pleased, get them to edit it. Don’t be afraid to be the boss here.
Your main sites are your business and your future. Spend a LOT of time on them and be the best you can in your field. With the Hummingbird update, you should be in safer hands from now on.
If your posts/articles are quality driven and answer questions or produces content that people, just like you and me, are asking Google, then Google cannot deny you a high spot in search results.
As for your feeder sites, the Web 2.0’s, blogs etc, they still need to be good quality/creation sites and do still offer a little link juice for being relative to your money site, with some Web 2.0’s giving weight by having decent PR. With these kinds of sites, you can be a little more aggressive with your backlinks.
Feeder sites allow you to ‘test the water’ to see if a product is able to rank, or to see how popular it could be. It doesn’t really matter all that much if Google or some platform filters kick you off, they are just feeder/trial sites after all.
Hummingbird, if the theory succeeds, should be excellent news for niche sites, meaning there may be a future for good, honest affiliate marketers after all!
(Many thanks for CC and the Hummingbird)
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