What small businesses need to know about Hummingbird

Many companies employ search engine optimization tactics, but Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, and this could mean new concerns for small businesses that are trying to maintain a high page rank. Companies need to update their Internet marketing methods to keep up with changes.

Google recently released Hummingbird, the latest version of its algorithm, which is one of the most significant changes since search engine marketing began, according to Venture Beat. The move was partially made to better accommodate the higher number of users who search from their smartphones, and the update will place a greater focus on high-quality content and meaning rather than just relying on keyword placement to drive results.

What this change means for small businesses

In addition to Hummingbird, companies need to cope with Google’s elimination of keyword data as the search engine makes the shift to secure searches. Small businesses can no longer try to boost rankings with a specific set of keywords, Search Engine Watch said. It is no longer an effective tactic to focus exclusively on keywords because Hummingbird places emphasis on whether users are finding value in the site. Many small businesses may need to add content to their sites and ensure thin content is eliminated.

Companies will not be able to deliver a subpar mobile experience, Venture Beat said. Google found that mobile users tend to conduct searches in a question format, and people will now be more able to perform conversation-oriented searches.

Businesses need to adapt

Older SEO techniques often involved stuffing pages with keywords, but Hummingbird will penalize websites for not delivering meaning or relevant information to users. Content that answers specific questions most prospects would ask may be important for SEO success under Hummingbird.

Although the new algorithm could pose challenges to some small businesses, updating website content and utilizing more longtail keywords can help companies maintain a competitive position in the rankings. One way small businesses improve results with Hummingbird is by promoting their best content with pay-per-click advertising, Search Engine Watch stated.

Since Google’s previous algorithm update – called Panda – dropped low-quality sites further down in the rankings, Hummingbird is a less dangerous change for SEO tactics in comparison. The focus on SEO efforts should be creating and publishing quality content that answers visitors’ questions and rankings can stay consistent.