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  • How Google’s Hummingbird Impacts Brand Managers

    About a month ago, Google debuted its first update to its search algorithm in several years.  The name of the update is Hummingbird and until now the implications of the change haven’t been fully visible.  However, now that they are, the change some exciting implications for the world of digital engagement.  To help you decide the best way to optimize your digital engagement programs for this new change, here’s what you need to know…

    1. Hummingbird expands search to encompass not just keywords but the context in which those keywords occur.  For instance, the older Google algorithm as applied to a search for “Atlanta Restaurants” would normally yield the home page of a popular restaurant or a restaurant group in Atlanta.  Hummingbird now seeks to understand the context of the search and is more likely to yield a result that answer a question such as an article on “Best Restaurants In Atlanta.”
    2. This change places now places more emphasis on the content of a site rather than just the keywords in its metadata. In other words, the more content you can provide that focuses on specific answers to a question the more SEO-optimized that page will be.  Rather thanks simply looking for keywords, Google is looking for pages that offer a more explanatory tone in their content.  This tone focuses on pairing keywords with context much like “Ask Jeeves” did back in the early 2000’s.
    3. Hummingbird is also designed to augment search results with content from Google-owned or associated platforms such as IMBD and Wikipedia.  Their goal is to keep you on Google-affiliated properties as long as possible.  The implications of this will be the increased usefulness of having formal presences on such platforms as YouTube and having a well-updated Wikipedia page.

    While Hummingbird does not negatively impact most online properties, it does provide new opportunities for content to play a central role in your next digital engagement execution.