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What is Google Hummingbird?

In 2013 Google introduced a new algorithm to its search engine code base name Google Hummingbird. Before this algorithm update, Google would use the exact phrase of each query to come up with the results, but after the introduction of the new algorithm, Google now tries to determine what the intention before the query is and then come up with results that would answer the intention.

This step is more than just replacing a query with its synonyms. It also considers the context of recent searches and AI to determine what the user is looking for.

How does the Hummingbird update impact SEO?

To get better results, your website and your page should focus on more than just a specific set of keywords but become contextual-aware. For instance, if our focus is on "seo hosting", our topics should cover different SEO and web hosting aspects without having the exact phrase repeated on every page. The backlink scheme that is built also needs to cover these new changes.

If implemented correctly, this can provide a great defence against Google penalties and provide a meaningful boost to the search engine ranking.

How do I optimize content for Google Hummingbird?​

  1. Do not focus on a single keyword. Keywords are important but what is more important is to have content that is subject-matter-related.
  2. When it comes to backlinks, natural-looking backlinks should cover all keywords that are contextually related.
  3. Your content should keep in mind the journey of your users. Same way Google considers the context of a search, google set-asides a context for your site or a group of pages on your site. Think of this as a virtual group of pages.
  4. Ask yourself who your audience is and what topics might be relevant to them, and write about those topics.
  5. Remember, this is a positive algorithm, so use it to protect your websites against penalties.