Hummingbird, the latest update from Google, created a lot of hum. What is so important about Hummingbird? Firstly, it affected over 90% of the search requests submitted to Google. The main aim was to focus on relevant concepts and intent instead of singular keywords. The Hummingbird update stresses on 'conversational search.' This is its key feature. In this regard if you are told that SEO is suppose to be dead soon, then it's wrong. The rankings and their impact are still prevalent and nothing major is really going to change.
As far as your content strategy is concerned, it will remain similar unless it is stuffed with keywords. You do not need keyword rich content. You just need quality and relevant content. So everyone who told you that 'content is king,' was right. On the SEO part, the legitimate back links are still crucial and so are the earlier tried and tested methods like the use of properly placed keywords, used in moderation. The only difference is that Google's new algorithm defines the way a browser searches. So what has actually changed with the application of Hummingbird? This latest update from Google breaks away the old search habits. When you search for a particular question, the algorithm picks up specific words in them and generates results accordingly.
Post the Penguin and Panda updates, it was a natural choice for Google to revamp its search algorithms so that they are smart enough to concentrate on the context rather than considering each word in the query as separate entities. This is a more intelligent way of looking for a required result. The new technology has been combined with the existing model to ensure that the users get more relevant information for their queries. It achieves this end by picking up long tailed keywords and provides actual results instead of focusing on the keywords. This is the reason why it is advisable to come up with good and relevant content. If you have rich and unique content it will appear on the search engines. Thus, your SEO does not depend anymore on the keywords only.
Conversational Search is a new feature that is easily visible on Google Chrome. There is an icon of a microphone in the search box. If you click on it and the microphone is properly configured in your system, you can ask your query aloud. The question along with the results will be displayed on the screen. Moreover, if the answer is there in Google's Knowledge Graph, then an Information Card will appear with more information on the query and a list of reference websites. For those who have already used Google Speak know that more conversational your query, the better results will be yielded.
The big question for SEO professionals is how can they take advantage of this update? In a situation where keywords are of less value and phrasal keywords are more important and links are crucial too, what can be done to help the websites? Your answer lies with content. Since the search engines are picking up specific queries, you have to expand the landing pages. These pages must have original content. If you are still unsure about how the latest updates will affect your websites, there are several SEO tools which can help you. In this regard, you can check out http://www.paradoxseo.com.
Hummingbird provides you an opportunity, but how you can make use of it effectively depends on your creativity and strategy. But one thing is for sure, this Google update does not disrupt your search engine rankings, provided you are not resorting to black hat SEO.