October 16th 2013

Google’s Search Engine Wildlife is Expanding

If you own a website or work in marketing you will already be familiar with Google’s Penguin and Panda. Well now you need to also pay close attention to the Hummingbird, the latest algorithm to change the face of digital marketing and SEO. There’s been a lot going on in the world’s most popular search engine in the past month, so what does that mean for you?

Google Hummingbird Changes

Branding is more important with the introduction of Hummingbird

In with the New Hummingbird Algorithm

Let’s start with the latest addition, Hummingbird. This is a search algorithm that Google uses to go through the billions of web pages out there and sort them out in the most beneficial way to ensure users get the best results when they use the search engine. The name was chosen to reflect the nature of the search engine, fast and precise.

Before the release of Hummingbird Google were using an older search algorithm. It was frequently updated and the search algorithm was using all sorts of different tools such as Penguin and Panda to try and refine search and improve the results for the user. As a result digital marketers have been changing the way they try and reach the top spot in the search engine results pages. The focus shifted from growing links, any links and stuffing in keywords to carefully choosing inbound links to ensure they are relevant and worthy and producing quality content instead of keyword stuffing.

Google felt that the overall search algorithm that encompasses Panda and Penguin was out of date, it needed a makeover. So this is where Hummingbird has come in. Think of it as changing an old engine in the car for the new one, it still works but the performance has been improved.

Have Panda and Penguin Gone?

No, Panda and Penguin are still very much in play; in fact they have recently been updated too.  Penguin 2.1 was recently rolled out. Penguin concentrates on fighting spam, it’s a part of Hummingbird and they work together to improve the way search works.  Web spam comes in many forms but the most obvious method is using keyword stuffing and linking to websites that have no relation to the content being shared on the web page.

Panda remains an important part of Google’s Hummingbird too. Panda concentrates on rewarding websites that actually work on creating quality content. These are the websites that have useful and informative content, which are always working to improve the user experience and are more concerned about quality rather than quantity. If you visit the websites that follow Panda and Penguin you will usually come away feeling like your questions have been answered. You won’t come across pages of nonsense, finding articles that have been spun so many times with silly links that are of no worth to you.

How to Work With Hummingbird

SEO isn’t dead, far from it. However, link building is changing, your branding is more important and the use of keywords is changing. You cannot shy away from creating quality content for your users, content is still king. So if you’ve been cutting corners hoping to cheat your way to the top of organic search you really need to face facts – content is king and that content has to be good.

Image attributed to: freedigitalphotos.net idea go

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