Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Filed in: Marketing, Internet/BDC

Google Announces All New Algorithm: Hummingbird

By Eric Miltsch on Sep 26, 2013

Google HummingbirdHuge news day for Google and the search marketing world. Google announced their new algorithm called Hummingbird. The name obviously conjures up images of the small, swift bird that is impossible to catch. It's also a distant departure from the classic "black & white" themes of Panda and Penguin. 

Also interesting to note, these are not merely updates like Panda and Penguin were, rather it's an entirely new computing engine. A massive overhaul to the inner workings of Google's search technology.

This is historic in that now all the talk about creating exceptional content and unique experiences will finally be put to the test. This is no longer about pure keyword suggestions and inserting them in the right places. While on-page and off-page optimization techniques will still continue to be included in the calculations to determine rank, there are newer, other high importance factors included as well.

Hummingbird will help usher in a new lexicon within the search segment with terms such as conversational search, rich data, schema.org, The Internet of Things and the widely popular (yet misunderstood) semantic web. This is where things will get interesting for website vendors, dealerships and marketing agencies. 

Typical keyword insertion techniques on your webpages and link building activities outside of your website help Internet users find things based on the phrases used in the content. Nothing special needs to happen in your content - just keyword placement. Your organic ranking is the end result of the efforts made on your site, your competitors trying to rank for the same terms, the number of results indexed and other factors. 

Hummingbird's algorithm will now help apply the core principal of the semantic web to the text on your pages: Meaning. This algorithm is going to look for the meaning, or the context, of the words on the page and their relationship to each other. (And even their relation to other factors such as people - think Google Author attribute) 

For example, instead of just searching for Chicago used cars a shopper can use more natural, conversational search phrases such as, "Where can I buy a Dodge Viper for the best price? or "Which dealership can I finance a new car at the lowest rate? Google will now be able to apply meanings - or connections - between the words within the search query. Associating words such as buy, purchase and finance with words such as car, dealer and dealership it can determine what we mean, what our intent is and plus, they already know our location. Being able to do this enables Google to deliver us even more accurate content. Content that matches our specific desire and intent. That's the start of the semantic web. (Now do you see why it has been so important to get your website organized and optimized?) ​

This is where the challenge comes into the play. Say goodbye to the default, stale page copy your website comes filled with from the website vendors. It's needs to be so much better than that!

We use conversational search in our daily dialogue when we ask friends questions. We're also using it on social media. And Google wants our search activities to be just as natural and they want these type of questions to be answered with better content - creating an even better search experience regardless of the device we use or if it happens to be a voice search.

I believe this will be one of the hottest topics for the rest of the year and throughout 2014 as Hummingbird continues to improve and mature. Watch these developments closely - I plan on staying very close to this topic and intend to be a major advocate of this change. It's a safe bet we'll hear Danny Sullivan cover this topic at DSES next month as well. 

Stay tuned. SEO, social and content marketing - or as I like to refer to it - Integrated Search Marketing is going to become really fun again. 

Comments

The good thing about being in digital marketing is that it never stays the same and you have to continue to adapt to change. Which means, you need to stay nimble and invest in testing! Thanks Eric for the update, and now I can add another thing to my testing this week!

Sep 26, 2013

Of course Brian! Sitting back and thinking we're in the clear w/regards to Google & their tricks isn't an option. Blink and we'll miss it.

Please keep us posted on your findings as well. Plenty for us to dive into: How this has affected sites over the past 30 days (it's actually been in place for the past month) How new pages/content responds to it and even how competing dealerships within the same markets are fairing.

Now the question is where to start?!

Sep 26, 2013

What I'm personally excited for is that we will survive to see computers understand humans in a way that we only ever saw on movies. The human brain is all about contextual thinking and now computers will have similar capabilities. I always wanted my own Johnny 5!

Sep 28, 2013

Thanks Eric for the information - I always learn from your points of view.
I also am very much in favor of this change. As far as I am concerned, this is 85% a change geared towards mobile and Google Glass.
I have noticed in analytics a lot of queries over the last 12 months coming in like "Ford dealers near me" or "used car lots near me" and these are almost always mobile searches.
I never saw this 4 or 5 years ago. I think it's about time Google started answering these questions better.
Personally, I'm waiting for the day when, as I travel the country, I can speak into my phone "BBQ restaurants that also have a good craft beer selection" and get a good result. We're not even close to that yet - but I bet we will be soon.

Sep 30, 2013

Thank you Allyn - appreciate the comments. Also enjoy your perspective as well, I like the way you think.

Yes, the mobile market, incl. wearable tech, will surely benefit from these changes.

Not only will you be able to speak a your query (maybe to your car's dashboard?) - the notifications could be so contextually relevant that it pings you at the most appropriate time/location.

Please keep us in the loop If you see anything else interesting happening with Hummingbird.

Sep 30, 2013

I'm really upset. I put $1,000 on the Vegas odds that the next Google update was going to be called Peacock.

Oct 1, 2013

I thought it was going to be called Skunk

Oct 1, 2013

Eric, thank you for your insight & for shining a light on this. The Cheese has moved again & you will help our stores stay ahead of the trap.

Oct 18, 2013

Hey Kevin,

Thanks for checking it out. I'll keep doing what I can to help move the Cheese faster.

Oct 20, 2013

Comments 1 - 9 of 9

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Eric Miltsch's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • Discover Your Millennial Market

    Millennials as Social Influencers: DO Talk to Strangers Despite the instruction of their parents, today’s youngsters have discovered that talking to strangers may not be a bad idea. Now in their mid-teens to mid-30s, millennials have grown into adult consumers and discovered that the most valuable information about products and services comes from the very people they were warned about—strangers. Millennials shop for cars differently than any other generation. They make up the largest generation in the United States and have an estimated purchasing power of $1.68 trillion, higher than any other generation. Effectively marketing to today’s youngest consumers means understanding how they research, who they trust, and how to make them trust your dealership. Soon your dealership will depend on them. Research Habits Because they were raised during the birth of social media, they are constantly connected to their friends, acquaintances, and even to strangers. Out of the millennial ...Read post

  • Going the Extra Mile to Earn Customer Loyalty

    With brand loyalty at its highest point ever, it’s time to take a new look at customer loyalty within your own dealership. According to IHS Automotive, as of the first quarter 2015, the automotive industry is sitting on a ten-year high of 52.8 percent in brand loyalty - mostly attributed to an increased diversity in model offerings and an increased popularity in leasing. While this is great news, it is important not to confuse brand loyalty with customer loyalty.   If a consumer is interested in buying or leasing another vehicle of the same brand, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will do so from YOUR dealership. So, the question then becomes what is your dealership doing to stand out from the crowd? Customers expect great customer experiences - especially if they are already loyal customers.   Customer retention and loyalty are key to the profitability and growth of a dealership. Yet far too often I see dealers that dismiss rewards programs as “too expensive.” Offerin...Read post

  • Complacency Kills: How to Fight the Demon within a Surging Sales Environment

    Sales are down... for many vendors. That's the scuttlebutt on the street and it usually means one thing: sales are up at dealerships. Looking at the headlines on automotive journals, it's clear to see that we are indeed in a general upswing in the industry. As a result, this is the most dangerous time to be running a marketing department in the car business. It's also the most crucial time for dealers and general managers to act. It's dangerous for the marketing/internet manager because it's very hard to tell what's working and what's not. You can look at the numbers for your SEO company, for example, and see upticks in traffic. Are their efforts making the difference or does it simply mean that more people are searching? It's crucial for dealers and general managers because you have to keep the wave of enthusiasm high while looking towards the future with bold determination. There's a saying that goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." This is incorrect in our industry. The real...Read post

  • Drumroll Please...Announcing the 2015 #DSES Breakout Speakers

    This year we have 46 breakout sessions which was chosen by our DSES dealer panel made up of the most progressive dealer executives in North America. It was a very competitive field and only about one out of every third application was selected.Read post

  • Discover Your Market

    De-Mystifying Your Consumer One Demographic at a Time The modern dealership faces most of the same challenges of other brands in a competitive marketplace. And although it might sound daunting to figure out how to connect with every consumer, discovering your market is critical to helping your dealership market more effectively.  Knowledge isn’t just power, it has the potential to sell more cars, so let’s dive in and discover your market! You already know you offer a great product, and you’ve got an outstanding sales team, and a fully-staffed service center that boasts highly-trained professionals. So now what do you do? How do you effectively spread the word about what makes your dealership great in a way that impacts your bottom line? Discover Your Market to Win If a store in the Midwest were to try to sell hurricane shutters, chances are, they wouldn’t fare very well simply due to geographic considerations. This is a simple example of how knowing your market can impa...Read post

  • Familiarity and Focus - Two Reasons Why Mobile Advertising is Key

    It’s no secret that a majority of customers now browse and shop on their mobile devices.  While many businesses have mobile ads running, there are some key ways to think about these channels that should enlighten them as to why mobile advertising is more important than ever. Many people still use desktops and laptops every day.  However, most of these users also keep their mobile devices by their side the entire time.  When they are served an ad on a desktop or laptop, there is definitely a “third party” effect where the ad is in a way intruding on the user’s experience.  This makes the ad a little bit easier to ignore.  However, most people view their mobile devices as a bit more “personal” than their desktops and laptops.  Thus, when a user is served up mobile advertising, theoretically there is a slight increase in the chance that they will pay attention.  The shopper sees the mobile ad as slightly more legitimate in this fashion - they are more “familiar” wi...Read post

  • Defining the Digital Advertising Buzzwords That All Dealers Should Know

    Every industry has its own proprietary vocabulary to meet the unique demands of the work. Digital advertising is no exception. And since digital ads are nascent relative to the entire history of outbound marketing, confusion and misinformation are likely to surround the terminology that is helping shape the practice. So what are the digital advertising buzzwords you ought to know? We can help. We’ve compiled a glossary containing some of the most commonly used digital advertising terms. Read post

  • Keeping your customers happy and employees engaged through proper training

    Recently I was called by a dealership about a previous employee. Of course we were able to discuss how well he preformed for me in a lot of the typical advisor critical measurements along with some of the areas that needed some improvement. Overall this was a young service advisor that has a great head on his shoulders and does really well with the customer. Typically he was the top producing service advisor on our Honda service drive among four other talented service advisors. I wanted to share with you why I was not able to give my previous employee a “go ahead” nod to his future employer and why I explained to the service director on the other line a glairing cause for concern. It all boiled around his willingness to train and continue his growth early on in his career. Right now you may be questioning the head on my shoulders but I wanted to explain the reason “why” a good training program can teach you so much about how a potential employee will fair in todays service driv...Read post