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The Google Menagerie

Google has added to their menagerie again. This time it’s a hummingbird. This algorithm * is intended to make searches performed on Google more ‘people friendly’. This means that searches can be performed in more traditional language rather than depending on specific key words.

* A search algorithm is a step-by-step automated search that is based on specific search properties, i.e., key words. These properties may be found in a individual record, website or in a database of information. Most algorithms are dependent on a specific formula, e.g.. the new hummingbird algorithm that uses people friendly text. [1]

Example, if you were looking for diabetic apple pie recipes the two different searches might look like the following:

Pre-Hummingbird: “sugar free apple pie recipe”

Hummingbird:   “what’s the best recipe for homemade sugar free apple pie”

In the pre-hummingbird world, the words – what’s, the, best, for – in the hummingbird search string would have been considered unnecessary and ignored. However, the new hummingbird algorithm takes every word into account to try and give the viewer a better search experience. It even goes so far as to try and discern the meaning of some words that might have multiple meanings. This is based on their use in the search string.

To take advantage of this, consider the following:

  • use actual words for your file and image names
  • for the alt=”” in image files, use all the words that reference the image
  • for the title=”” in HTML links, use a sentence that might be used as a search string or question
  • continue to use appropriate key words or key word strings for the META tags on each page

Reminiscent of the long-tail-keywords of a few years back, hummingbird goes well beyond that effort and offers the viewer the experience of focusing their search by using real sentences (or questions) targeting exactly whatever they might be searching for.

If you want to brush up on the Google algorithms panda and penguin – visit this link.

And, don’t forget that adding unique, quality content to your website or blog  is still the order of the day and plays a big part of your ranking.

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[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_algorithm

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