90% of Searches Affected by Google “Hummingbird”

Google made a huge change last week that is not only the largest since 2009, but the change also affects at least 90% of all searches. Unlike previous Penguin and Panda releases that just updated or enhanced the current search algorithm, the new Hummingbird launch brought the release of a brand new search algorithm. This means if you own a website, you were most likely affected by this change, and should probably reevaluate your internet marketing strategy to move beyond just a traditional focus on keywords.

To explain why, you’ll need to understand just how Hummingbird affects Google searches. Google has now moved toward catering to semantic search results, or those searches that are conversational, such as a search that asks a question. In order to do this, Google’s algorithm had to better determine how keywords tie together and what you were really looking for, as opposed to delivering results that contained those keywords you searched for. As more and more people use their mobile device for internet browsing and voice search, it was only a matter of time until Google revamped their search algorithm once again to deliver better results to users.

Is Google Pushing Its Other Services?

It’s obvious Google has motivation to push its other products and services, and it’s interesting to see some of the ways it is trying to get you to purchase services such as Adwords. There are a lot of different ways Google is starting to tie all its products together. These include:

  • Google Adwords
    • If you’re trying to see how well you’re doing for certain keywords or strings, you can no longer have this data available to you…unless you have an active Google Adwords campaign which will show you which keywords are most successful in driving traffic.google
  • Google Authorship
    • As you can guess, with a semantic search it is important to have updated information that answers questions your customers may be interested in. One of the best ways to do this is to keep an active blog, and if you tie in Google Authorship with your blog, your posts will start to appear in the search results.
  • Google+
    • Google reps have given talks about how Google Plus enhances search experience, as well as impacts the user’s search experience. If you are active on Google Plus, you are naturally providing Google with more data to return to your target audience. As social signals are used more and more in search results, it makes sense that Google Plus should be a focus in your SEO campaign.

These changes just reinforce the old saying that content is king. The more relevant content you deliver to your customers, the better your site will do in the search engine results. It is imperative you keep your website and/or social channels updated with what your customers want to know. All the clues are pointing towards a multifaceted approach to internet marketing, and if you are just focusing on a keyword based SEO, it may be time to start considering mixing in other options like blogging or social media.