Google is trying to understand the meaning of people’s searches and answer their questions
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The big search engines constantly refine and improve the way they interpret people’s searches, usually with a second eye on how their sponsored ads will benefit as well.
One area Google has focuses on more and more in recent years is trying ot interpret the results more intelligently and so deliver more useful results.
Trying to focus on the meaning behind the sentence
In simple terms this means Google will be trying to focus on the meaning behind the sentence rather than just the keywords. This has been supported by a recent algorithm update known as Hummingbird.
So in effect the search engine will be trying to understand people’s questions sometimes even before they’ve asked them (as demonstrated by the speed of predictive search).
Known as conversational search
Known as conversational search this is a major step forward in the evolution of search engines and may present a new set of challenges for website owners.
So if you do manage a website how is this latest update going to change things? First of all it should be noted this change is about the way Google manages information not the way it gathers it. So in theory, it’s not so much about the way or how your site works (as some previously updates have done), but more about the content available.
Keep producing high quality and original content
Google have stated nothing has changed with their guidance for content publishers or those optimising their websites – that is: to produce high quality and original content people will read and share.
Four main areas to focus on
In my view the Hummingbird update enabling conversational search does offer new opportunities to help your website pages do better in Google and I believe this is focused around four main areas. These are:
- Creating quality content people want to share
- Be aware of the questions you need to answer
- Offer an answer based on your knowledge
- Have the relevant information on the page
Below I shall go through these four points and outline changes I think will help with conversational search.
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— Steve Lewis (@steve_motoperf) November 1, 2013