In September, Google unveiled its latest iteration of search algorithm—dubbed Hummingbird for its speed and nimbleness—and sent shockwaves throughout the content universe.
Is search dead? Do keywords still matter? Is legacy, long-tail content still valuable?
Here’s the skinny you need to know: Hummingbird affects 90 percent of all searches. But also know this: Google launched Hummingbird in September, but no one really noticed until this month, when the company announced it at their 15th anniversary celebration. That means the best recipe to optimizing your content is what it’s always been: Create great, useful content.
It’s all semantics.
The tectonic plates of search optimization are shifting. Now, phrases matter more than keywords (think conversational search). In fact, Hummingbird gives you the chance to chill out about using keywords. (Instead, feel free to use synonyms.)
Mobile search is where it’s at.
People search differently on their mobile devices than their desk devices. On a laptop or desktop, a user might search for fondue restaurants in Chicago, Ill. On a mobile device, a user might search for fondue restaurants nearby. Hummingbird places greater emphasis on mobile search.
Garner the power of Google Knowledge Graph.
One of the coolest features of Hummingbird is Google Knowledge Graph, which catalogues facts about 570 million different concepts and their relationships to one another. Say you want to know how many women have won the Nobel Prize. Google Knowledge Graph quickly creates a chart to help answer your question.
Great user-focused content matters now more than ever.
At core, quality content matters now more than ever. You can’t varnish mediocre content with keywords. Now more than ever, it’s important to create content that anticipates—and delivers on—your audience’s wants and needs.