• Google’s latest algorithim – “Hummingbird”

    Lorna McNamara, Marketing Director

    Google recently launched their latest algorithm for their search engine, “Hummingbird”. Although there have been up-dates over the last decade, such as Penguin and Panda, this is the first new algorithm since 2001. The question is what will it mean for hoteliers and their organic search listings.

    Initial feedback is that it is an up-date to some of the changes brought in in 2010, with a focus on fast and precise results and more relevance for intelligent search results, which could have a positive impact on long tail terms. Up until now search results were based on a combination of key words or terms included in a search request, whereas the Hummingbird update will mean that the search results delivered will reflect more the true meaning of the search request. Thereby reducing the frustration factor of needing to conduct multiple searches to find what you were actually looking for.

    Hummingbird is also designed to improve the voice search experience.

    The latest release brings Google closer to a move from keyword based searches to semantic search. The downside of this is that hoteliers will have less information on where exactly their web traffic comes from using basic analytics and may have to move to premium paid for products to receive keyword analysis.

    Although this is still early days for the Hummingbird updates and its potential impact is still unclear, there is a possible upside of a more fair search environment with “the long tail” search. However, there are also concerns about Google obtaining even more data giving it a greater competitive advantage and allowing it to more effectively target consumers with online advertising.

    In the short term, all recent Google updates have placed more focus on relevancy and because of that websites that maintain fresh, well-written and relevant content will have a better chance of ranking higher in search results. Also, rather than focusing on just driving more visitors to a website, many of which may have no interest in the product, relevancy based search results will deliver visitors that are actually looking for that product and should help deliver higher conversion rates.

    Friday, October 4, 2013