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

  • Will Boomers and Millennials Ever Understand Each Other?

    Millennials are often misunderstood by Baby Boomers creating difficult situations when hiring and retaining the 25 to 34-year-old age groups. Why is this? Will Baby Boomers and Millennials ever understand each other or will cohesion and understanding help your business? Find out in this passionate post by Grant Gooley.Read post

  • Creating an Excellent (CX) in your Store

    A recent quarterly digital intelligence briefing from Adobe and Econsultancy titled Digital Trends 2015 outlining the most exciting opportunities for your organization, ranked Customer Experience as number one for the second straight year. The study was conducted on more than 6,000 marketing, digital and ecommerce professionals around the world ranking things like content marketing, mobile, social, big data, personalisation, location based services  and more. Customer Experience or (CX) as a theme has increased the gap from 2014 between things like mobile and social. Last year 20% ranked (CX) as the most exciting opportunity and the number has increased in 2015 to 22%. It is clear that in the coming year we will see a ton of activity in this area, so how can your dealership ensure an excellent (CX)? Customer Experience is defined as is the sum of all experiences at various touch points a customer has with a supplier of goods and/or services, over the duration of their relatio...Read post

  • The Fruit Fly

      Fruit flies are pests that are found in homes, restaurants and grocery stores - anywhere there is fresh produce present. They are attracted to rotting or fermenting fruit on which to feed and lay their eggs, and they are relentless and near impossible to get rid of once they have found a home.   Fruit Flies Everywhere! Several years ago, I noticed that I was increasingly trying to shoo these pests away from my face at meals, or just walking through my kitchen every day.  The fruit fly situation became unbearable.  I made several trips to the store to purchase flying insect killer. I purchased several brands, and they all seemed to take care of the problem at varying degrees. I would then spend the next few minutes cleaning up the mess of dead fruit flies and foul smelling insect killer. Well, this went on for days. Every day, I would arrive home, spray with vigorous purpose and clean the mess - only to have to do it again, day in and day out. After a week or so, I realized...Read post

  • 6 Things You Should Know About Email Marketing

    Of all the marketing methods, both conquest and customer, email is the most cost effective and returns the highest return on investment than any other channel. Of course this is only true if you know these six tips to get the most out of your email marketing. Subject Lines Did you know 33% of recipients open an email based on the subject line alone?1 Think of the subject line as your email’s headline. It should be brief, no more than 35-40 characters in length, for easy viewing on a mobile device. The content of your subject line should provide actionable information that represents the major content of your email. Always avoid using strong promotional attributes like multiple exclamation points or words in all caps. If you’re unsure of your selected subject line, test a couple out to determine which one receives the most opens. From Line Did you know 70% of people open emails from their favorite companies?2 This exact reason is why it is very important to use your dealership’s...Read post

  • Get In The Game! Gamification Best Practices For Your Dealership

    While gamification seems to be an emerging term in the automotive vertical, it's been a stable marketing tactic in others for years now. We've seen it in social media, different location based apps on our phones to training software. If you find that your dealership is looking to employ gamification into your marketing mix there are some simple best practices you will want to review with your staff and your vendors prior to launching. Know your business goals: Your marketing strategies need to align with your dealership's business goals. If you employ gamification as part of that strategy it has to align as well. Gamification isn't just to make your website content more interesting, clear KPAs need to be defined to ensure success. You need to define clear cut results to measure whether or not your efforts are successful or not. Make scoring and winning straight forward: In an article published last year by Michael Brenner, it's communicated that our average attention span is ...Read post

  • Retention, Loyalty or Acquisition Marketing?

    We all want new customers. And it’s certainly mandatory to retain a customer to create a loyal one. But how we market our dealerships is increasingly important -- as each form of marketing will deliver different results. The three terms: loyalty, retention and acquisition marketing, all have their own distinct meanings and should be used to satisfy different goals and objectives. While they are often not distinguished differently within most dealerships, they truly have different meanings, and will generate different results.   According to the experts at the Cambridge Dictionary, the definition of customer loyalty is as follows:   “The fact of a customer buying products or services from the same company over a long period of time.”   According to Wikipedia, customer retention is defined as follows:   “Customer retention is the activity that a selling organization undertakes in order to reduce customer defections.”   And acquisition marketing is defined as th...Read post

  • Connecticut Ford Dealership Launches Chevy Marketing Campaign?

    At some point, "social" media stopped being "social" for many dealerships...who decided it's better to talk TO customers than to engage them. This marketing campaign with a Connecticut Ford dealership turns that concept upside down.Read post

  • The Quick Answer Scenario Makes More Sales Happen

    We all love to focus on leads. That's the name of the game in pretty much everything you do on your website. Many dealers are starting to understand that it's not all about leads since many people, particularly mobile visitors, are not filling out forms as they were in the past. Still, it's a big focus. One thing we've seen over the years is that sometimes a happy potential customer can be earned by simple customer service. When people come to your website, it can take a quick answer to an easy question that can be the difference in making a sale or not. Chat is the easiest way be there for your website visitors. Many people don't want to make a phone call and filling out a form to get a quick answer is not appropriate. Maybe they just want to see if a vehicle is available before they hop int he car. Perhaps they want to know if you take trade ins (yes, there are people who aren't sure). Whatever their need is, the presence of a chat operator to answer their questions is necessar...Read post