Google Hummingbird and Longtail Keyword Optimization: Getting Traffic in 2013 and Beyond

Google Hummingbird and Longtail Keyword Optimization


Google hummingbird seo

The last thing many hard working internet marketers and website owners wanted to hear was news about yet another Google algorithm update. The damage Panda and Penguin had done was enough. Thanks to these updates, many lost their entire online businesses and had to start over from scratch. Now Google Hummingbird has come along and, among several other changes, no longer can vital website traffic data be found. For example, webmasters can no longer find out things like which keywords were used by visitors to arrive at their website. Google has encrypted that information. The result is that commonly used methods of keyword research are now invalid, but the good news is that there are new methods to employ. Those who learn and use the new SEO strategies can get high volumes of search traffic easier than ever before.


A Look at Longtails: Google’s Hidden Frustration

Search algorithm is getting more sophisticated in a response to more conversational or more natural types of search queries. That is, when we type in a query in Google, we often do it in a manner that is similar to normal speech. Most search queries rarely consist of just one or 2 keywords. Google wants to focus on context and user intent rather than merely keywords. Most in the industry already understand what a longtail keyword is. The term ‘longtail’ can be simply defined as a phrase that is used for search and includes at least three words. While some marketers think Google simply hates them, the search giant is a business at heart and is simply after more profits. It’s no secret that most of Google’s profits come from advertising. However, it’s also not a secret that most searches are performed using unique longtails for which Google hasn’t quite mastered how to serve up ads. Mastering longtail-focused advertising is, therefore, a very high priority at Google, ergo the Hummingbird update. It is a leap toward better understanding the user’s intent in search queries.

Another motivation for the shift toward longtail keywords is that mobile search is growing at a fast pace and, as such, there is a huge increase in voice search. Let’s face it, it is much easier to speak a query into your mobile device than it is to type it in; hence, Hummingbird.  Google wants to dominate mobile search in the same way it has done with desktop. This article in does a nice job of putting the growth and reach of mobile search into perspective.


Benefits of Longtail Keywords for Marketers and Online Businesses

The news of the Hummingbird update made some simply shake their heads in despair, but, if you look at it the right way, it’s actually beneficial. Not only are longtail keywords easier to rank for, but they can result in higher conversion rates. Someone looking for a product using a longtail keyword is most likely ready to buy.  If you’re smart with your SEO strategy these eager buyers can land on your site with their credit cards at hand, and make their purchase there simply because you were one of the first websites they found that offered exactly what they wanted. This is not to say that there are not many other factors influencing conversion rates, but focusing on the use of longtails in your SEO campaign is a great place to start for achieving a significant increase in these rates.


Increasing Content Relevancy for Higher Rankings and More Traffic

Relevancy and quality are now two of the most important things when it comes to creating content for a website, if getting more traffic from organic search is your goal. One of the best possible strategies you could use for making sure your content is relevant to the search term is to use a mind map. For those not familiar with the concept of mind mapping,  learn more about it here. This is an approach that can help you discover more longtails, so it may be worth your time.


No, it is Not Common Knowledge

There are still many in the SEO community who do not believe in the power of longtail keywords. They look down on the practice centering content around a list of longtails and instead still focus on high search-volume keywords. Their failure to utilize such a strategy is only an additional benefit to you. For those who want to maximize their search engine success, Google Hummingbird is a game-changer. This is the beginning the search evolution and it now dictates that we must think context, intent, relevancy, conversational and – longtail.  The days of individual keyword obsession are fading. Are you ready for the future of search engine optimization?

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