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

  • Let Data Drive Pretty Much Everything in Your Marketing

    First, a mini-rant. It will make sense why I'm starting with a rant before getting to the meat of the issue. I was on the phone with a social client and their prospective search marketing provider the other day when I was blindsided by ignorance. It wasn't what I expected from a company that came highly recommended for their search prowess, so I called later on to talk to someone other than a salesperson to confirm that I heard properly. They selected their keywords straight from a template. The dealer would tell them the cities and then they would plug in those cities into their keyword template and, VOILA, they had a keyword list to plug into their campaigns. This is the type of treatment I would expect from an OEM-level provider, but to see it coming from a boutique shop really turned me sideways. The whole idea of being small and nimble is the ability to give the personal touch; heck, that's why we built our company in the first place! That experience prompted me to talk abou...Read post

  • Using Moneyball Strategies to Win the Content Marketing Game

    In a recent article published on Marketing Land, an author used the famous concept of Moneyball and applied it to content marketing. If you aren’t familiar with the Moneyball concept, it began when Billy Beane became manager of the 2001 Oakland Athletics. Mr. Beane hypothesized that a team doesn’t necessarily need a superstar to win games. The key to winning in baseball is scoring. To score runs, a team must have players that can get on base. Rather than allocate millions of dollars (which the organization couldn’t afford) for superstar players, Mr. Beane used data and algorithms to identify players who may have been considered sub-par, but had high on-base percentages (i.e.: they could hit and get on base consistently). Using this strategy, he was able to put together a team that went on to win against stacked teams of superstars. The author of the Marketing Land article went on to explain how successful content marketing paralleled the Moneyball strategy. Marketers shouldnRead post

  • How to Make Hyper-Targeting Your Social Media Secret Weapon

    If you're like many, you're sick of hearing how big social media is. It's huge. We get it. That's not the real "juice" that comes through utilizing social media for automotive advertising. The greatest benefit that social media currently offers to car dealers is through hyper-targeting. More dealers every day are taking advantage of the standard targeting components of sites like Facebook and Twitter - targeting by location, age, income, education, and any combination of these and many other demographic components available. Very few dealers are taking advantage of the stronger data that's available through a plethora of very specific data sets. First and foremost, the use of your customer database is absolutely imperative. You might be sending direct mail to your customers. You're probably emailing them. Unfortunately, your also probably missing a large number of them because of spam filters and a general distaste for junkmail. Social media offers a very direct way to get your me...Read post

  • There's No Need to Make Reputation Management Complicated

    One of my biggest complaints about some vendors in our industry is that they make reputation management seem like it requires extremely specialized talents in order to make it work for car dealers. They would have you believe that you cannot manage, monitor, or influence your own reputation and that it takes extreme talent and a complex strategy to make it happen. As much as I would love to pitch our own reputation management solution here, I'll keep it simple. Reputation management isn't hard. In fact, it's the complicated measures through which many vendors attempt to manipulate your reputation that gets dealers and other businesses in trouble. Here, I'll break down the steps that make up a real reputation management system: Deliver Great Customer Service - Just as we do with our own clients, dealers that are treating their customers fairly and with respect have a better chance of maintaining a positive reputation online. That doesn't mean that great service will definitely yi...Read post

  • You Need to Repeat Yourself (in marketing) to Your Past Customers

    Repetition can get annoying. When we see the same message over and over again, it has a tendency to get on our nerves. That's not what you're trying to do by putting out consistent messages multiple times through diverse channels. In today's ever-shifting world, it's important to risk repetition for the sake of having them see your message at all. I originally published this article over at AutomotiveSocial.com but thought it would fit in nicely at DrivingSales: Customer loyalty is a tough cookie to crack nowadays. It's not like before when things were more predictable, when you could make assumptions about timing and situations. Today, you never know when the situation will change to where someone is in the market to buy a car immediately. The standard buying cycle has been replaced by a chaotic weaving of changes to job, relationships, and circumstance. Another thing has changed. People are not inherently loyal to any particular dealership. Sure, there are regular customers who...Read post

  • How important is a job title?

    My dealership firmly believes in a culture of *teamwork* - and by not having a title - I can be the utility player on the team.Read post

  • Get Your Customers Properly Engaged with Your Dealership

    I know. It's a buzzword. It's impossible to keep track of number of times experts in the car business have used the word "engagement" when describing how to get more customers. Engage on social. Engage on search. Engage on YouTube. Engage on your website. It's a mess but it's still important to be engaged with potential customers. On the other hand, it's even more important to be engaged with your past and present customers. The people who just bought a car from you, the people in your service waiting lounge, even the people who bought a vehicle from you a couple of years ago - these are the people that could really use some engagement with you immediately. It gets frustrating to see so many dealers focused on driving new business and conquest business while pretty much taking their eyes off of the low hanging fruit in their database. It's as if the industry has given up on loyalty. It's true that loyalty numbers are lower than ever before. Between the internet allowing further re...Read post

  • What the Buzz is a KPI?

    Tired of listening to the marketing mumbo jumbo that everyone loves to use but hates to explain? Sometimes ya just gotta say, What the Buzz? Let’s debuzz digital, break down the chatter that matters and expand our digital dictionaries… all in seven sentences or less. Today’s buzzword is KPI. We’ve asked one of our resident Digital Demystification Delegates to explain what it is and why dealers should care.Read post

    By Cobalt on August 29, 2014