There’s a lot of buzz about Hummingbird, Google’s most recent algorithm update. One of the things that makes Hummingbird different from previous algorithm updates is that Google didn’t just tweak things a bit, they replaced the entire engine. Once again there’s speculation that SEO is dead and Google is made yet another change to push people toward paid advertising options.

Hummingbird has not killed SEO, in fact in many ways I believe the changes have made search engine optimization more important than ever before. Danny Sullivan’s article, FAQ: All About The New Google “Hummingbird” Algorithm provides an excellent overview about the update.  A few of my favorite parts are:

  • Hummingbird moves us closer to conversational search
  • Google is striving to better understand the “intent” behind the search
  • Google is paying more attention to the whole query instead of individual keywords – the goal is to find content that matches the meaning of the search not just the words used in a search
In  nutshell this makes quality content more important than ever before. Your content should focus on behaviors and answering questions and queries that may often-times start with:
  • How to…
  • How can…
  • How will…
  • Why does…

Google’s guidance for SEO has always promoted the creation and publishing of high-quality content and having incoming links from relevant high-quality sites. Short cuts may have produced immediate results, however they’ve never produced long term results and in many cases those short cuts are coming back to bite some folks.

None of the algorithm updates, including Hummingbird have killed SEO, they’ve just made it more important that we follow the guidelines. I’m proud to say that, here at the Search Engine Academy there’s always been a focus on creating high quality content and writing for people not for search engines.

Pre-Panda, Pre-Penguin, and Pre-Hummingbird, the six step process for SEO we teach stands up to the test of time.