How is the Hummingbird Algorithm Affecting Local SEO?

local seo with Hummingbird

Every time Google releases a new algorithm, most online marketers and website owners scratch their heads. Your local SEO expert (search engine optimization) may be left wondering if he has to devise new strategies or if the ones he is currently using will still work. Website optimization is a complicated task, considering the many factors that affect it. First we had the Panda and Penguin algorithm, and now, the Hummingbird. How is it affecting the search result rankings and optimization of the various websites in your locality?

Speculations with Hummingbird

First off, the Hummingbird algorithm, released last September, has shaken up the world of SEO, albeit lightly. Despite being up and running for over a month it was released, SEO experts and marketers alike have failed to notice it. There are a lot of speculations done by different experts, causing a little confusion. With that said, let’s clear them up.

• Drastic changes are forthcoming.

A lot of concerned people relying on SEO were nervous when the impending algorithm was announced, considering the fact that it is Google’s biggest algorithmic change since 2001. However, most breathed a sigh of relief because it had been up and running for month – as mentioned in the previous paragraph, even hardened SEO experts have failed to notice it.

• Will Hummingbird kill local SEO?

The “will it kill SEO?” question has been asked as early as the Penguin and Panda algorithms. Let’s be straightforward here, the Hummingbird did not and will not kill local SEO, but it will certainly make you rethink and enhance your current strategies.

• Is a whole strategic revamp necessary?

Certainly not, but you will need to make changes if any of the websites you are handling are somehow afflicted.

With all that has been said, how Hummingbird Algorithm affecting local SEO?

Once again, if you think that you need a major strategic revamp, you do not need to unless if you have been following the evolution of SEO and abiding the rules and boundaries set by Google. Do not consider the Hummingbird algorithm as an impediment – consider it an upgrade.

Instead of focusing on keywords, the algorithm focuses more on the search query as a whole. Rather than focusing on keyword density (which has been abused a lot of ways in the past) to determine page rankings, a website’s content will be taken into account, as well as the relevancy of the search query. So, focus making your content Hummingbird-friendly rather than spamming keywords.

• Mobile search engine experience is further enhanced and will be optimized in the long run.

The Hummingbird enhances conversational searches. Instead of searching “Niagra falls pictures”, people can now type in “give me Niagara falls pictures”. This also improves the search results queries that are in question form.

Voice search is optimized.

However, like all new things, the Hummingbird is still imperfect. Although it has helped out in providing users with quality search results, it still has a lot of things to work on with regard to local searches. Despite making content a priority, it still heavily relies on keywords. For example, typing in “nearest burger stations near me” will give you results that show the websites of famous restaurants with burgers as their specialty. Here’s an example:

Typing in a search query that says nearest sushi restaurant near me will yield the following results.

searching nearest sushi restaurant

As you see, the local sushi restaurants in my location (that is if they have optimized) will not be located by Google and instead, famous ones are on top of the results page.

The  third result is actually not a relevant result since it is just an article and cannot be found in UK. The first, second and fourth result can answer my query since they are located in UK, but seems that their is a problem with 4th result since it is not working and no content can be found when you tried to explore the page (oops, find a proof that Hummingbird is not yet perfect when doing local search)

the sushi pages

Though this situation may have not have big consequences, it is important to improve the cogs answering these queries in the long run.

The future of not only local SEO but also its entirety is being molded as of now. The Hummingbird may be experiencing flight problems, but it certainly is moving forward.

Today’s article is a guest from Jason, one of the Local SEO Expert in the UK.

More about Jason:

jasonJason’s strong honest strategy and interest for good results pushes him to reach the ideal outcomes for his clientele. Thus, it is indisputable that he is one of the persons to be admired to in regards to prosperous online business. Today, Jason provides Web Design, Website Security and SEO services via to SME’s (Small to Medium Enterprises) in the United Kingdom, North America and Australia.

Al Gomez

SEO Consultant, Online Marketer & Blogger, Web Developer & DLINKERS Founder.

“Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”