Update: Here are some new Hummingbird ‘Tip Sheet’ do’s and don’ts that will help you make the most of Google’s new algorithm:
1) Don’t fill your site with new pages for new pages’ sake. Have a plan. Tons of fluff content will not help you.
2) Now that Google has given us a near zero keyword referrer situation with the increase of ‘not provided’ in Analytics, use your social media accounts to best advantage: Which of your pins do people like the best? Which of your posts on Facebook are getting the most shares and comments? Mine these even more than you did before to gauge user intent. Build content around this information.
3) Think about what your audience really wants. Usually that translates into making people’s lives easier or finding ways to create communities. We worked with a travel site a few years ago that started a blog with users’ trip logs as the content base. That blog was much loved by its audience. Bring your fans into the content creation fold. Get ideas from them and have them post their own content to your site.
4) Are you an architect, toy manufacturer or other company who could benefit from user feedback on new products? Get people to weigh in on your drafts. Don’t wait to get the finished product out there — ask your target audience what they think of your early prototypes. This is a great way to involve people and you can create a new section of your site that showcases ‘products in the pipeline’. This new content can be regularly updated — which is great for driving traffic to your site. Search engines love regularly updated content, too.
Instead of a Magic Bullet, Be Ready with Rich Content Distributed on a Consistent Basis
Instead of looking for a magic bullet to help you make the most of Google’s new Hummingbird update, you need to listen to old but tried and true advice.
In the famous book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill said that one has to be ready to get riches. That phrase is repeated over and over again in the text. The lesson taught in Think and Grow Rich is told through various stories where the participants never gave up and made their own success through dogged hard work. It’s the same with online marketing, especially post-Hummingbird.
With Hummingbird there is a way to be ready and you likely have heard it before. Now’s the time to listen and act.
It has almost become cliche to say “Create quality content.” How many times have you heard that? What does it mean exactly?
Since the advent of Google’s Hummingbird update, the definition of creating quality content has taken on a whole new meaning. Writing content focused on a few keywords will not be enough anymore. Hummingbird works to understand the searcher’s intent. In other words, Google’s Hummingbird will examine the entire query and return what it thinks is the best answer.
For example, if I search for ‘diamond ring’ I am served up results that tell me where I can purchase a diamond ring, usually with big brand PPC ads and other sponsored ads showing before local stores’ listings.
If I ask Google ‘Where can I find the best quality diamond rings?’ it will consider the entirety of my request (my intent) and provide me with the usual paid retailer ads but also info on how to buy a diamond ring. [Note the first natural search result for this query, How to Buy an Engagement Ring.] Also notice that retailer Blue Nile is the publisher of this content. Retailers and all businesses are encouraged to create content that helps users. Make this content be about more than what products you have for sale. This helpful content also needs to have a unique slant to make it stand out from the dozens of similar how-tos on the Internet.
My question provided a top search result with more in-depth information.
As you can see there is a clear difference between the types of results that Google returns for these searches. Google has taken into account that people are increasingly using their mobile devices for searches, and these searches are being formatted more often as questions.
Need some quick advice to get your content showing higher in Google search results?
Grab this Hummingbird ‘Tip Sheet’ and Build your Google Rankings
1) Create in-depth content such as case studies, whitepapers, how-to blogs and guides, resource pages and more information-rich sources. That doesn’t mean this content has to be long and dry. In fact, it’s recommended that you break up the content with subheads that keep the flow going.
2) Keep a consistent pace going with your content creation. Use an editorial calendar to help you plan your content production. Many people don’t do this because they say that ‘things change too quickly in my industry’ to plan. That is an excuse that a person needs to avoid. Things change too quickly for everyone. Plan your content and add some updates on the fly if things do change.
3) Think like your audience. Do they want short how-tos? Would a video work better than text? What about including a map or infographic? Try these ideas, too:
a. Vine videos
d. Polls and surveys
Check back soon for part 2 of this article where we show you how to match your keyword research to user intent.