The Short Answer.

In September 2013, Google announced it had launched it’s new search algorithm called Hummingbird.

Currently, Google accounts for 67% of total US online searches1Considering that 90% of home buyers searched online during their home buying process, how search engines select the information people receive is important to new home marketers.

When Hummingbird flew onto our radar, we headed over to one of our favorite blogs, Search Engine Land to get the low-down. They didn’t disappoint with two excellent posts. Our favorite highlights are below starting with first things first.

What is a Search Algorithm?

A search algorithm is ‘tech-speak’ for the recipe that a search engine, like  Google, uses to sort through billions of web pages and return what it thinks are the most helpful answers to users.

Google has tweaked its recipe over the years calling the changes by cute, non-threatening names such as Penguin and Panda. This time the name is still cute, but Hummingbird represents more than a “tweak” to a recipe. It’s a completely rebuilt engine that changes how Google ‘looks at’ information.

Why re-build how Google Search Works?

Google is moving to “conversational search”. (As people migrate even more heavily to mobile search, this change makes even more sense.)  

Google no longer just focuses on finding matches for key words. With Hummingbird, Google tries to understand the meaning behind the words through looking at the entire query exactly as someone types it in.  Then it looks for the answer to what it thinks a user is really looking for across the web.

TAKEAWAY:  It’s no longer about stuffing keywords all over a website and blog. (Actually, that’s been true for some time now.)  It’s now  more strongly about having original, high-quality content.  

How to reach SEO success now?

SEO Definition

The dust never settles in the SEO space, but here’s a bit of insight from David Amerland, author Google Semantic Search.

“From a practical perspective, the need to identify the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) of each business and become authoritative within it is now a key criteria for continued SEO success.”

Also, Amerland emphasizes the importance of content not being left in isolation, but instead shared across social networks via identified influencers.

TAKEAWAYS: The future of effective SEO is not a quick fix, but rather the creation of content that genuinely provides answers to (home) shopper questions. 

Social Media is now not only linked to driving traffic to your website directly, but also impacts how much organic traffic Google will send your way.


For more on Hummingbird, we recommend the original posts FAQ: All About The New Google “Hummingbird” Algorithm  and Google’s Hummingbird Takes Flight: SEOs Give Insight On Google’s New Algorithm.   What do you think? Please comment below or let us know on your preferred social place – Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn.

[shameless plug] To discover your community’s (or company’s) USPs and deepen your brand for success in SEO and social media, we’d love to introduce you to the Roxburgh FACE Positioning process.

(Image: DH Parker. Data source: 1.September 2013 ComSCORE.  2. 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, NAR)

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