David Caruso is a specialist Small Business SEO speaker

In this article he outlines Google’s Algorithm update

small business seo speakerLast year, Google introduced one of its largest changes in it’s history – a completely new search algorithm, named “Hummingbird.”

Different from past updates, Panda and Penguin, which only slightly modified existing search algorithms and affected around 2% to 5% of search queries, Hummingbird is thought to have affected almost 90 percent of all queries and has made dramatic changes to the way the engine processes user requests.

The propulsion behind Hummingbird comes down to context. Before, Google’s algorithms only processed user searches according to each individual word in the query string.

For an example, a previous search for the keyword phrase “hotels in Chicago” would need Google to troll through its index and search for the best matches containing the words “hotels,” “in” and “Chicago.”

These days users are more prone to enter complete questions — such as, “what is the best hotel in Chicago?”  into search engines, Google then wants to try and understand the context behind the search query in order to provide the best possible results.

Did the person mean the best hotel in terms of price, location or comfort? Are you on the go in the city and looking for the best hotel nearest to your location? Hummingbird aims to determine the context of your question, although whether it does so successfully in all cases isn’t clear yet.

What is clear from this new technology, though, is that there are some adjustments you will need to make to your SEO strategy in reaction to this update.

From now on don’t keyword research, market research. As Google continues to develop, it’s very clear that old school keyword research, is on its way out.

Now less care is taken about whether you’ve optimised each individual page on your site to a certain keyword and more care is taken about whether your page’s content answers the question presented by the search user.

So stop wasting time trying to discover the magical combination of keyword metrics that you think will guarantee you natural search traffic, brainstorm what are the questions your users are asking about your business and brand.

Then go about answering them through your content in a way that’s easily understood by the search engines and will provide extra value to your visitors.

David is a professional speaker and trainer specialising in online marketing.

He hosts regular webinar events at www.BusinessMarketingSession.com