Google Hummingbird, the latest algorithm from the search engine giant, is a huge change in the SEO landscape. Unfortunately, many brands still haven’t noticed. While it is too early to really tell whether it is going to be a massive game changer, it is claimed that it will affect around 90 percent of searches.
The biggest change Google has made with Hummingbird is the change in how the search engine interprets the intent of a user’s query to ensure the returned results are appropriate.
For example, if you were to search for ‘’how can I give back to my community in Nashville,’’ Google previously would return a set of results that maybe included the words ‘’give’’, ‘’community’’ and ‘’Nashville.’’
As a text reader, Google could return any number of pages that contain these phrases but do not necessarily help people find different ways to give back.
With Hummingbird, Google will be placing greater emphasis on the other words in the search query such as ‘’how do I.”
What does this mean for content marketing?
A few weeks ago, I ran across a helpful article from E-Consultancy on how to do content marketing the Hummingbird way. The good news is that a lot of the information shared in the article aligns with the principles that lead to successful content marketing.
Here are two things your brand, business, or cause needs to know if you want to align content marketing and SEO to generate more awareness in 2014:
1. Provide content that answers the questions your target audience is asking. Instead of loading your content with keywords, focus on the long-tail searches that people might be asking. Not only does your content have a better chance of showing up in a long-tail search, it also has a better chance of being shared because it’s actually helping readers solve a problem.
2. Look for ways to connect the dots with your latent content. Don’t let your content die after you publish it. Instead, look for ways to connect the dots between the long-tail search queries of your audience and the solutions you have to offer.
While Google’s constant algorithm changes can be frustrating, every new update makes us better content marketers. It forces us to get back to the basics of helping people instead of selling our brand. It requires us to think like our customer. In the end, your brand, business, or cause can only benefit from the changes in SEO because it requires you to invest in others before they invest in you.
What are some ways your brand is adapting to the new Hummingbird changes?