Hummingbird takes users to contextual, conversational search, taking all words in the query into account, not just the targeted keywords.
With hummingbird, keyword signals don’t mean as much anymore on their own, but now even more important are the algorithmic inputs such as brand signals, social signals, linked signal, user usage signals.
As such, SEO needs to shift. Focus more on the topic rather than obsessing over the specific phrase, which makes for more user-oriented content.
Your focus should be on better content rather than more content. It’s the context of the content that is winning. Make sure your social assets are aligned with your website through branding, keywords, and content marketing. By leveraging as many sources of content as possible, you can also help to capture your mobile-base markets.
Now more than ever it is vital that you pay close attention to your metrics, especially in Google Analytics. Any drastic changes in traffic may be as a result of this algorithmic change. At eMagine, we have connected every client’s webmaster tools to their Google Analytics, as there is still contextual keyword information to be had as to which keywords receive impressions (though not necessarily clicks). You may also consider opening an Adwords account (even if you have no intention of placing ads) as there is some extra visibility on this platform that is not available go Google Analytics.
Don’t just focus on Google. There are other viable search engines out there who do have keyword data to sort through. We also have ensured that Bing Webmaster Tools is actively cultivating data on our clients websites as well. Don’t ignore your user data and customer questions, either. If your business development and sales people are getting asked certain questions over and over again, consider that the perfect content to add to your website, in order to answer those questions.