How to Avoid Common Google Hummingbird Mistakes

It has been six months since Google has released its Hummingbird update to celebrate its 15th anniversary. However, it seems that there are website owners and SEO practitioners who still don’t get what this crucial search algorithm update is all about. As a result, many of these people are making mistakes that are dragging their search rankings down. If you’re currently running a website, how confident are you that you’re not committing the same blunders?

Just recently, Marcus Tober of Searchmetrics has shared some of the common mistakes that he has seen website owners and SEO practitioners make since Google launched the Hummingbird update in September last year. He also offered some tips on how to correct these mistakes. Read on and find out what they are.

Mistaking Hummingbird as just another minor Google update. Some people think that the Hummingbird is just a minor change when in fact, Google has taken a completely different approach to how the search giant understands queries. According to Tober, in the past, two queries with the same meaning but were typed out differently would produce different results. But with the Hummingbird update, it seems that it wasn’t the case anymore. Searchmetrics conducted a study showing that the number of unique URLs in search results have decreased by 6.5% since Google rolled out Hummingbird.

Tober said this shows that the Google is now striving to provide the best search results possible instead of coming up with a variety of results. In short, today’s search landscape is about quality over quantity. This means that even if your content is structured differently, it won’t give you any value if it is too similar to what’s already out there. In fact, it may not even get shown on Google Search.

To correct this mistake, make sure that your site always has unique and interesting content. You should regularly come up with content that is your own. This improves your chances of having good search rankings on Google.

Creating self-serving content. If you want to rank on Google, don’t make the mistake of creating content that focuses solely on your needs. Instead, you should think about how your content marketing strategies can answer searchers’ questions. Tober said content creation today is about answering typical questions with as much supporting information as you can provide to back up your answers.

Keyword stuffing. In the past, keyword density matters because keywords are what searchers are using to find specific information online. But with the Hummingbird update, the focus now is more on the content itself, how it answers users’ queries, and how it provides value to them. Besides, stuffing content with keywords can get your website into trouble. You could be penalised by Google so it’s best that you avoid making this crucial mistake.

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