Google Hummingbird: What marketers need to know

Hummingbird 4

If you read marketing publications on a regular basis, you may have seen the extensive coverage on Google Hummingbird. Unless you’re an SEO pro though, you probably glanced at these articles, wondering what they really mean for you.

Here’s a quick guide on what you need to know.

A new Google search algorithm

Hummingbird is a new search algorithm. So unlike Penguin or Panda (which were updates to an existing algorithm), this one’s more significant. What does it exactly do? Danny Sullivan provides the following helpful explanation:

Hummingbird should better focus on the meaning behind the words. It may better understand the actual location of your home, if you’ve shared that with Google. It might understand that “place” means you want a brick-and-mortar store. It might get that “iPhone 5s” is a particular type of electronic device carried by certain stores. Knowing all these meanings may help Google go beyond just finding pages with matching words.

In particular, Google said that Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.

Hummingbird is an expansion of Google’s efforts to move towards semantic search, focusing more on user intent rather than individual search keywords.

5 marketing tips in light of Google Hummingbird

With this new search algorithm now in place, what can marketers do to ensure their pages appear on Google? Here are some basics you should keep in mind:

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4 Notable Stats From BCAIM’s 2012 State of Marketing Survey

F5 Expo 2010: BC Business

Last month, the B.C. Association of Integrated Marketers (BCAIM) and Ipsos ASI released a study that revealed the state of marketing in the province.

The study, which you can download via, is the first-ever survey of local marketers in B.C.

Here are four stats from the study that caught my attention.

1. 80% of BC marketers get their marketing news from LinkedIn

In the past couple of years, LinkedIn has transformed itself from just another social network to a content powerhouse. It’s no wonder that marketers in Metro Vancouver are taking notice.

LinkedIn Today does a great job of aggregating news by topic and industry based on what your professional network is already sharing — an important curation tool given the amount of content being produced everyday. The addition of the Influencer program on the site last year gives LinkedIn users another compelling reason to check the site regularly.

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Google Panda & Penguin: What marketers need to know

Google regularly updates its search algorithm to improve user experience and penalize those who are gaming the system.

If you read marketing websites even occasionally, you might have heard about the terms ‘Panda’ and ‘Penguin’ before. Usually these terms are mentioned in the context of search engine optimization (SEO).

Recently I was asked about these two, about how the two are exactly different. I realize that I wasn’t 100% sure, so I decided to learn more. I also included some infographics below if you prefer something visual.

Google - Panda and Penguin updates
Photo: Linkwheeler

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How do you use marketing to earn your customers’ love?

Can't Buy Me Love - SEOmoz presentation

Once upon a time, marketing was all about who has the loudest voice. Buy the most newspaper ads and you’ll likely get the biggest market share. Use the largest newswire to release your latest public release and you have the public’s ears.

But then something happened. Customers started tuning out ads. Brands started creating their own content. And people, just in general, started doubting brands.

Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz, recently uploaded a presentation entitled “Can’t Buy Me Love” on Slideshare.  The presentation, which was first presented at Distilled’s Searchlove 2012, walks through SEOmoz’s winning formula for winning people’s hearts — and wallets — without spending a fortune on marketing.

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Recommended Resource: Hubspot’s SEO Step By Step Guide


Hubspot is, hands down, one of the best online resources about marketing. The Hubspot blog boasts a big catalog of valuable content about PR, social media, marketing, and search engine optimization.

Recently I finally had the chance to go over Hubspot’s free eBook Learning SEO From The Experts: A Step-By-Step Guide. I’ve downloaded a lot of eBooks and white papers before, and I can honestly say that this is one of the best ones I’ve read in a long while.

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