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How Google Hummingbird Really Works: What We Learned by Analyzing 9.93 Million Words of Content

Study sheds new light on Hummingbird

I thought Hummingbird was water under the bridge. But +Neil Patel just published results of an extensive study that yielded a few surprises (at least to me):

1. A Hummingbird-optimized site will outrank a huge link profile.

2. Topical gaps hurt your site authority and rankings, and they're not as obvious as you might think. A topical gap is caused by not mentioning tangential items that people usually think of in conjunction with your subject, such as "gas mileage" and "fuel economy" when the website's subject is "saving money."

3. Deep niche content works best with Hummingbird. (No surprise there.) But beyond that, it's important not to expand your topics unless you've gone in-depth enough to establish authority in your focused main topic.

4. The text on your homepage can be the most important on your website. Neil says the search engines will look at the home page and your About page the most closely to determine your subject focus.

Does anyone else find these things enlightening, as I do?

Read all his findings here:

Search algorithms are super complicated. Our task as SEOs is to figure them out. It’s not easy, especially since Google uses more than 200 ranking factors. And, Google isn’t going to just tell us how they rank sites. So, we have to figure it out. How do we figure it out?

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