Google hummingbird and what it means to marketers


Google recently announced the introduction of its new search algorithm called Hummingbird, which allows the search engine to decipher and understand intent behind a search query as opposed to mapping keywords to a site. It’s about Google getting better at understanding what searchers really want and providing them with better answers. For instance, if you type in “Which is the place closest to me where I can watch gravity”. A traditional search engine might focus on finding a page that says “gravity,”, however, the new and improved Google will focus on theaters in close proximity to your location where you can watch the movie, although the word theater wasn’t even mentioned in the search query.

This is a step to allow users to conduct conversational searches where they converse with the search engine, ask questions and arrive at what they’re looking for.

Implications for Brands and Marketers

This new update from Google has made it imperative for you as a marketer to understand what your buyers are looking for and communicate with them accordingly.

  • Content strategy a MUST

If your site has informational content that matches directly with what your prospects are searching for you will benefit from this update. If your site does not have that yet, we suggest you create a robust content strategy in the form of blogs, infographics, videos etc. including enough and more content that truly addresses specific wants and needs of your consumers.

  • Focus away from keywords to contextual search in SEO

With the Panda and Penguin updates, thankfully the days of keyword-stuffing are way behind us. This latest update ensures that marketers continue to publish good quality relevant content as opposed to stuff their websites with keywords which will throw them up in the search engine rankings. With the new knowledge graph focusing on the intent behind a search, going forward, SEO strategists must anticipate the intentions of users as well as the keywords they are likely to use.

  • Re-visit and review website content

It is important for you to review your website analytics and internal search data to understand what your consumers are looking for and ensure that your website content provides answers to these common questions. This will ensure that you are found during the discovery part of a consumer’s purchasing journey.

The Hummingbird is a small step towards a giant leap of evolved and conversational search. As a marketer you will benefit by altering your market go-to strategies to reflect the changes brought about by this update

What other implications do you think this update will have on marketers? Let us know in the comments below.


Interested in commissioning a study or other thought leadership?