Google's Hummingbird Update: What it Means For Your Resort

Posted on Oct 16th 2013

Just before its 15th birthday, Google unveiled one of its biggest and most significant algorithm overhauls yet. The update, nicknamed Hummingbird, is the search company’s latest move designed to deliver a higher quality service to its users.   

How the update works

The update takes the emphasis away from keyword search and places it instead on the searcher’s intent, using conversational searches to deliver results that are more directly relevant to what the searcher is looking for. Google now serves up these results on the SERPs themselves, so searchers have immediate access to the information they need.

While traditional search rankings have been based on generic keywords, such as a simple enquiry for “iPads”, now, thanks to the rise of verbal search, people are using their Smartphones and tablets to make increasingly complex search enquiries such as “Where can I find the best deals on iPads near me?”

Hummingbird is designed to respond to this evolution in users’ search behaviour by pushing out generic results in favour of more localised, relevant and useful content.

How does Hummingbird affect your hotel?

So, does all this spell big changes for your hotel’s online marketing campaign? Maybe not as big as you might think. Each Google update over the last few years has hammered home the same point about successful online marketing – the websites producing high quality content that meets the needs of their specific audience will always attract the most organic traffic. From this point of view, Hummingbird is simply the next logical step forward in Google’s quest to help the best content get found by its audience.

The launch of Hummingbird means you should rethink how your guests are using the internet to find your resort online; looking beyond keywords to the actual meaning and intent beyond the search terms they choose. For example, a traveller may type simple terms like “Broadbeach hotels” into Google on their PC, but would make a more complex command verbally such as “What’s the best priced Broadbeach hotel near the beach?”

While Google would once have picked out the keywords and presented web pages that contained them, it will now look beyond simply matching data and attempt to provide answers instead.

It’s up to you to make sure your content is high quality, engaging and highly relevant to your target guest group so that it contains as many meanings and answers as possible.

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