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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Google’s New Search Algorithm - How Hummingbird Can Help Your Real Estate Business

You have probably heard by now… Google’s has recently changed its algorithm for how it gathers and presents search results.

Google quietly put the update — titled ‘Hummingbird’ — in place a couple of months ago, and the update does offer new challenges and opportunities for anyone who relies on internet searches for generating leads for their business.

Google says the update will affect 90 percent of all searches—several times the percentage of searches affected by significant variations of the Panda and Penguin updates.

As usual, Delta Media Group's marketing experts are on top of this and prepared to help you leverage it to your business advantage.

So let’s dig in to what Hummingbird means to you, how to avoid losing business as result of it, and how to instead gain market share while Hummingbird affects competing real estate websites.

Hummingbird is about semantics. Google has built the algorithm to help semantic searches that might not only be keyword-based, as Google and other search engines have traditionally worked.

That changes Search Engine Optimization, which has always been keyword-based in nature. Now, instead of looking for SEO built around one word, Google is more worried about the semantic meaning of longer phrases. Searches are about finding answers, and Google has never been shy in its pursuit to build the best engine to answer the world’s questions.

Keyword-based SEO isn’t dead. But Hummingbird renders it less critical. Google now wants to find quality websites with content built around answering the questions consumers are asking.

For real estate marketers, we now need to worry less about optimizing around keywords such as “real estate” and “homes,” and start building good, informative content around quality neighborhoods to work in, the types of homes for sale, the types of clients served, options consumers have to buy and sell, and more.


Search is happening more and more by voice. Starting with Siri, and stretching to Google’s Search by Voice and Android’s Google Now voice feature, consumers can now speak questions directly to their computers and mobile devices.

The thing is, people tend to speak questions differently than they type them into search boxes. That renders much of Google’s text-based search engine useless because it doesn’t understand the context of the question or conversation.

Spoken questions involve semantics because they’re voiced with expression. People don’t speak keywords. Their intent is adjusted in conversation. Google has implemented Hummingbird to build out its search engine to better cater to the evolving search culture.  Web content should follow suit- built with a conversational tone.

Google Authorship

Will Hummingbird make Google authorship more important? Some Internet Marketing analysts seem to think so, and it’s best to prepare yourself for when that day comes.

Google allows you to utilize markup to create an author profile that’s linked to your Google+ account. This was introduced a year ago, but Google claims authorship is not yet a ranking factor in its search algorithm.

Enter a new search algorithm. And while we don’t (and won’t) know the exact factors that contribute and to what exact percentage, web experts agree Authorship will soon play a significant role.

Hummingbird is about semantics and context. While websites and pages can be optimized to specific keywords, authors provide knowledge, data and technical expertise. The key to authorship is building authority in a subject. Authority is built on trust, largely through those same factors — knowledge, data and technical expertise.

As authors build trust, the chances improve that their content will rank higher. Authorship ties new content to authors, allowing Google to create a graph of knowledge and expertise based on the topics consumers are looking for. Real estate marketers should create blogs if they haven’t already done so and start authoring and offering real content their customers will want to read.  This will not only build trust, but also help their business generate more leads through search.


Hummingbird is the most recent in a long line of Google updates. Each evokes its winners and losers, as only one URL can rank first, and between seven and 10 pages can rank on page one. For each page that moves up, another must drop off.

SEO is a science as much as anything, and Hummingbird changes the chemistry. It might all sound complicated, but the key to Google is, and always has been helping consumers find the best information to help serve their needs.

Do that, and Hummingbird will be your friend and business partner.

Want to read about about other changes and trends in real estate marketing and lead generation? Click here to learn more and download our Free White Paper, entitled "The Recent Shift in Lead Engagement".

About Delta Media Group, Inc.
Serving over 600 real estate brokerages, 35,000 agents and 225 MLS's across the nation, Delta Media Group is the enterprise marketing and business management solution for real estate professionals. Delta partners with companies and top-performing agents at the point where marketing meets technology, helping clients efficiently navigate their business pipeline from lead to close.

To learn more about Delta Media Group, visit their website at
About Delta Media Group's Real Estate Marketing Solutions
Delta's expert marketing team offers a suite of inbound marketing services and products that will drive business and enhance your real estate website’s online presence, including Search Engine Optimization, Integrated Blogging Tools, Custom Content Generation, Property Video Creation, Social Media Marketing, and Pay-Per-Click Search Management.

If you would like to learn more about how Delta's marketing team can work with your team to grow your business, please contact via email or by calling 1-866-233-9833.

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