3 Important Details About Google’s New Search Algorithm

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Google celebrated its 15th anniversary with a new update, called “Hummingbird,” to its search engine algorithm; how could it impact your business?


In commemoration of its 15th birthday, Google recently announced a new update to its famed search engine algorithm; called “Hummingbird,” the update introduces some interesting tweaks to the mighty search giant’s functionality, particularly its relationship with keywords and phrases.

How will this impact your real estate marketing efforts, though? Here are three important details to consider:

1. Keywords Out, Phrases In – Since the beginning of time, marketing to Google’s search engine has always been a matter of keywords; use the right keywords, the logic went, and you would boost your search engine optimization, or SEO.

Hummingbird, though, represents a decided step away from that antiquated strategy. Built to better handle complex search queries, the Hummingbird algorithm is concerned more with complex assemblies of words, rather than specific keywords. So though keywords will still be important, they will not be as prioritized as before. Aaron Aders framed it well in a recent article on Inc. – “Google is being very transparent in the way they’re nudging digital marketers to optimize for audiences rather than keywords.”

2. Mindless SEO Out, Great Content In – Hummingbird’s focus on phrases over keywords, Aders wrote, signifies a major shift  in Internet marketing, one away from the the categorization, optimization and organization of old SEO marketing and towards the dynamic, organic, content-driven marketing efforts of today, where engaging content is shared naturally among fans of brands and websites. So if anything, Internet marketing is becoming less of a science and more of an art.

3. General Out, Specific In – Lastly, Hummingbird also represents an embrace of the “longtail keyword,” or, a longer search query that is much more specific in nature. Longtails were always somewhat of a crapshoot. When done well and targeted toward an active population of consumers, they represented enormous opportunities; when done poorly, they languished without any hits. Now, however, the Google algorithm will do a better job of finding those longtails, and the result, as Aders put it, “will be a stream of branded content that is more relevant to search engines and the target audience.”

So what does this all mean for you? In the end, it’s just another move by Google away from quantity and toward quality, which means that good, quality real estate content, whether in the form of blogs, biographies or testimonials, will be more important for your site’s success then ever before.

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