In today’s world, Google has a massive influence. This can’t be overstated as Google is not only one of the world’s largest (most valuable) companies, but also the main cause of an entire industry: search engine optimisation (SEO).
Yes, there are other companies (Yahoo!) that vie for a share of the search engine market, but it’s estimated that in the US, Google’s home country, two of every three search requests are through Google. The estimates are even higher in Europe.
Last year there were over 1.8 TRILLION Google searches with an average of over 5.1 billion searches a day.
And do we even know if Bing has a version of AdSense? Does Yahoo have its own Analytics?
The point: Google is big. Really big. And so when Google announces a change in their search engine formulas, it affects all of us who have an internet connection. Amit Singhal, software engineer and senior vice president at Google, estimates the new Hummingbird algorithm will affect about 90 percent of searches. The main aim of Hummingbird is to allow the search engine to pick up concepts rather than individual words. The need for this arose as we all started searching lengthy questions instead of singular terms.
At Thinktank, we wanted to explore any social implications Hummingbird may have. We realised now, more than ever, content is of utmost importance. The messages put out by companies needs to correspond highly with their overall business, so that inconsistencies are not overlooked by Google’s more precise search methodologies. Google steers so much online traffic. To best capture this, companies must put out messages of relevance, increasing the need for content strategies.
A recent searchengineland.com article stated “The goal [of Hummingbird] is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.” This means conversations about your business can result in added search matches, even if your business doesn’t match word-for-word to a search query. This again reinforces the need for clear messages from companies that are broadcasting online.
We also believe the data captured after this change will have greater significance in telling us what people are looking for online. This allows marketers to greater pinpoint their efforts and strategies so that they can align themselves with the “interests of the masses.”
Can you think of any other implications Hummingbird may have on social media? Let us know in the comments below!