In 2013, Google revolutionised its algorithm technology and employed a new system of searching called ‘Hummingbird’ which brought the complex understanding of semantics into web searching.
Before this update, keywords could be placed within web pages and this was a reliable way for a website to list on Google search rankings. However, with the new changes, Google focuses on the meaning behind the search so exact keywords were no longer taken literally, and therefore ended the guarantee that a site would be listed on their ‘first page’.
This new system translates meaning and understanding of all search queries, making their searches smarter, more efficient and capable of predicting the exact information the user is searching for.
These new changes, however, left digital marketers scrambling to change their methods and ultimately has forced them to rediscover what their potential customers are really looking for, what terms they are using, and supplying that information through content marketing.
Google knows good content marketing
Google began as a search engine to help users search the web and help people find the sites and information they were looking for. Although it has transformed and evolved into a huge multinational and advertising monolith, Google still places user persona and searching as their ultimate priority of their business.
It has also become a massive collector of data and with their new bots that analyse this data they have discovered the best way to relate information to users needs is with semantics.
Google tracks and analyses the data that comes from their searches and directs these ‘queries’ to the right websites. It helps people find what they want based on geographical location, but also the ‘type’ of questions or terms submitted to their engines. Before it would offer suggestions of what the user might want, but now, as it has become smarter, it will predict and anticipate user terms and provide them with the right content.
Therefore knowing what people want (i.e. interesting and engaging content marketing that is relevant to their search terms) is forcing websites and marketers to act in the interests of the user.
In the past, keywords stuffing and some SEO was enough to get you on Google’s rankings, however with this new system their technology is able to look past this data and find out exactly what people are looking for. Forcing businesses to publish content that is brilliant, interesting and most of all useful to the searcher.