Every time Google updates its search engine algorithms, a few publishers are caught off guard, and their ad revenues plummet. Don’t let that happen to you. Your Google ad revenues should stay steady through the latest algorithm update; not plummet.
So what’s Hummingbird anyway? Hummingbird is the name of the latest Google search engine algorithm. It is codenamed Hummingbird because Google’s engineers designed it to be “accurate and fast”. It is google’s answer to the mad scramble that Panda and Penguin (the two latest search algorithms’ codenames) gave webmasters. They hope to avoid similar headaches this time around.
If you properly prepare for Hummingbird, you’ll be able to prevent your traffic — and thus your Google ad revenue — from falling like a rock.
Hummingbird’s big changes
Since Hummingbird is focused on speed and accuracy, it makes sense that it would center around mobile devices. Hummingbird introduces a new search method: conversational searching. Google traditionally uses a keyword searching style in which search results were only matched with keywords in the search query.
With conversational searching, Google is able to answer more complex search queries and provide direct answers. Remember “Ask Jeeves”? It’s like that, but with the power of Google’s powerful algorithms.
You can even ask Google follow-up questions once you see your search results (e.g. after searching for One Direction, you can ask, “What’s the name of their latest album?”)
How to handle the Hummingbird
The single biggest thing you can do your website more mobile-friendly. Since Google is making a move towards a mobile-centered experience, you’ll lose search traffic if your site isn’t mobile-friendly. And you know what that means: yes, you’ll also lose Google ad revenue.
Investing in a well designed responsive layout is a good investment in your website’s future ad revenue. Responsive layouts take advantage of touchscreen interfaces, making your website feel more fluid.
Properly size your photos for mobile devices. If they’re too big, they may look nice on desktops, but they’ll take forever to load on slow data connections.
You should also rethink your keyword content campaign. Refocus your keyword campaign on category-centered content as soon as possible. If your site has more answers for any given question, then it will be given a better ranking in the new conversational searching algorithm.
For product- and service-oriented websites, more posts, and content concerning a specific portion of your business will give better results. This sharply-focused keyword strategy serves your site’s traffic better than becoming a jack of all trades.
You should also start looking into long-tail keywords, or highly specific search queries. These don’t get a lot of traffic individually, but their combined search volume outweighs those of the top ten keywords. Hummingbird is optimized for accuracy and content-related search results, which is exactly what long-tail keywords focus on.
Hummingbird doesn’t have to sweep the traffic out from under your site. If you build your site’s design and content strategy on this new mobile-centered, conversational direction, your ad revenue can stay steady — and even grow — with Google Hummingbird.