In September of this year, Google announced a new search algorithm that went into effect, impacting 90 percent of searches worldwide. This new algorithm was named Hummingbird. (Google really loves their animals.) This change was said to be one of the largest since the Caffeine Update in 2010, even though few actually noticed the difference.

What is Google Hummingbird?

The goal of Google Hummingbird is to better meet the needs of today’s online searches, which are more conversationalist in nature, include long tail keywords and ask questions. Here are a few of the tailored updates:

  • Better understanding of contextual meaning

  • Better understanding of questions

  • Improved semantic search

  • Adapts to conversational searches

  • Recognizes long tail keywords

Although Hummingbird was a big change – the algorithm had been running for a month before it was even announced – no one really noticed. This is a far cry from the Panda and Penguin algorithms that sent webmasters into a small panic. Still, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do anything. There are a few things to take into consideration when developing content.

  • Create Educational Content. Since there is a stronger focus on providing immediate answers to questions, you’ll want to shape your content in an educational manner. Focus on how to do things, answering questions and clearing up confusion.

  • Pay Attention to Titles. It’s easy to assign any blog post or video a simple title, but your title is just as important as the content itself. After all, you only have a matter of seconds to attract your audience, so you want something compelling. Including numbers and powerful words are helpful.

  • Talk to Your Audience. It has always been most important to write to your audience, but the search engines didn’t favor this. Now, they do. So, write to your audience – not the search engines – and do so in a conversationalist manner. This makes the content more real and interesting.

  • Authorship Matters. Google Hummingbird is focusing on sites with good content, so make sure that you have a strong authorship program in place. Create a profile on Google+ and make sure all profiles are updated. The goal is to easily link back content to its creator.