Google has titled this modification Hummingbird, claiming that it is “precise and fast”. Hummingbird was an algorithm modification that focuses on displaying proper results based on a more complex query the user makes. This more complex query stems from the use of mobile devices and voice activated technology such as Siri. When a user asks Siri “Where is a Mexian restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona?, Google’s Hummingbird technology breaks down that query that is more complex and more of a discussion into a string of keyword phrases to appropriately display the correct results. We are calling Hummingbird an algorithm modification, but it really is a new way of breaking down search results for more “semantic” type of searches.
Of course, Hummingbird affects your website, like all changes made by Google. Some SEO news resources are claiming that this modification is all about the long-tail and optimizing your site for much longer phrases to capture more specific searhces, which is not true. Google is simply being smarter about more detailed, conversational requests. If your website is well optimized for location based services like “Mexican restaurant in Phoenix”, your site will rank well for search queries like “Where is a Mexican restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona” because Google is breaking everything down for the user to display the best results. The one thing that will never change from Google’s standpoint is that they want to serve the best results possible. Now, why do they want to do that? Simply put, thats where they make their incredibly large amount of money. If users are not happy with their results, people will use Bing and other search engines. So, optimize your site well for phrases that make sense for your business and dont jump on a bandwagon and make brash decisions when something changes.
Whether you are a large business, or small business the key to success online is to have a well executed marketing strategy, set goals and measure against those goals. Keep providing great content for your industry, keep sharing resources, keep engaging in conversation. Your site will grow with the more time and effort you spend online helping your customers, and building your brand.