Credit unions deal with SEO bedlam due to Google’s Hummingbird update

Google’s new ‘Hummingbird’ update could systematically torpedo search rankings for both banks and credit unions. Here is what to do about this Angry Bird.

by. Joe Siracusa

To most bankers, pandas, penguins and hummingbirds are cute animals. But for professional marketers however, these beasts represent the biggest challenges in the history of search engine marketing. Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird are all updates to the Google search algorithm, and these updates have changed how Google — the gorilla of search — ranks websites… including yours.

What is a ‘Search Algorithm?’

Google’s algorithms are computer processes and mathematical formulas that turn search inquiries into results. Rather than serving up every page with your search results in no particular order, algorithms allow Google to prioritize and rank these pages in order of relevance. This makes finding the information you need more easily accessible.

Why is it Important to Understand the Hummingbird Algorithm Change?

Hummingbird, unlike previous updates like Panda and Penguin, is not about penalizing websites. Rather, this algorithm Google’s attempt to improve search results using a more complex and robust understanding of human language. The algorithm reduces the search engine’s dependence on “keywords.” Now, search terms are taken into account according to syntax, word order and other variables. In other words, this algorithm is going to look for the meaning — the context — of the words in a search, and their relationship to each other

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