Concerning Hummingbird

Nov 29, 2013

We have seen that is of distinct importance to enhanced SEO efforts. As if to drive the point home, Google’s recent “Hummingbird” announcement is that of a “complete replacement” of the core of what they’re doing with search (see “90% change by Google” is nothing to sneeze at“) With one fell swoop, they’ve just changed the game … hummingbird

  • from searching to asking questions;
  • from listing results to providing answers;
  • from keyboard to voice (long-tails become the norm);
  • from workstation to mobile (voice long-tails again);
  • from you searching for content to content searching for you, the user (through Google Now);
  • and, from links to the ever-expanding Knowledge Graph

Bing and Yahoo will of course soon follow suit (Bing just announced a mini-Knowledge Graph, sourced from Klout. Facebook’s new search engine will also soon also deliver “Knowledge Graphs” to Bing and Yahoo results).

They’re all chasing “The Star Trek Computer” and getting there faster than even Thematix would have believed. To be sure, this will affect your company. For one thing, the SEO techniques you’re accustomed to are likely to become less and less effective quickly — meta tags, keywords, back-links and the like are not relevant to an environment that is increasingly more concerned meaning and context than with syntax. For another, thinking solely in terms of website optimization will leave your mobile strategy orphaned — mobile is in large measure the motivation for this new kind of interaction.

We won’t say “we told you so” because we didn’t — we simply weren’t extended the opportunity to tell you everything and get you ready (please note, we sit on the W3C steering committees for Schema and its newest versions that are now live — e.x., JSON-LD — and JSON-LD is only in version 1.0 — odd how its official release predates by days Google’s official announcement regard its largest algorithm — read: SEO – Google’s largest update in 12 years, ‘Hummingbird’).

Here are the core building blocks that can help insure that your company is proactively, preemptively relevant to the Search Engines:

    • Schema-tize. Googlebot’s love for Schema’s expressing facts according to this consensual taxonomy is beyond doubt. Thematix regularly sees a 20% + rise in SERP position and click-throughs. With Hummingbird pushing this ontological understanding back into the formulation of user queries, long-tail search will increase exponentially.


    • RDFa. Consider injecting Schema into all of your current UX copy writing: this is simply a robust deployment of Schema directly into the content you present to your visitors (and, of course, to the Search Engines, behind-the-scenes). This type of Schema roll-out enables your content to deeply understood by the Search Engines (think: the Search Engines now will truly have read and consumed all of the content you spent weeks writing and perfecting). The added benefit? Semantic search now becomes available within your website, enabling you to respond to concepts rather than just keywords.


    • JSON-LD. Consider condensing each page/section’s online content into a “Javascript Object
      Notation – Linked Data” mini-application directed at each Search Engine as it reads pages. This Schema technology, actually accepted by the Search Engines just one month+ ago, takes Schema to the next level, by creating a mini-application within (and tailored) each page to feed the Search Engines
      each pages core meaning and content — the Search Engines are “fed” your content as the Search Engines’ robots also read your content.


    • OpenGraph Markup: Basic Facebook development team standards that Bing loves, since the two companies are seemingly engaged to be married, technically. This is basic stuff, but is supplementary to the following advanced Schema applications.


    • Good Relations Schema: This best applied gently to breadcrumbs, at the moment, or where Schema vocabularies aren’t sufficiently robust to truly enhance your SEO in light of Hummingbird’s ramifications).


    • Freebase. Owned by Google, this is the “factory” from which Google manufactures Knowledge Graph content. By including your firm as a component of this self-contained model of the world, you can help increase the likelihood that you will be the answer to a question, rather than just another keyword-based also-ran.


    • dbPedia. This is a linked-data mirror of Wikipedia, and a font that search engines draw from to present your firm as an entry in the encyclopedia, rather than a flyer in the mail.


  • Google+/Facebook. Of course, you’re no doubt already savvy about the importance of social media to your brand. But we have some wrinkles that will help amplify the potency of your social media presence (yes, it involves Schema, and beyond the benefits of hashtags in both Google+ & Facebook

If this is intriguing, or drop us a line. We’d like to work with you to get you equipped for the next phase of internet search.

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