How The Hummingbird Update Affects Ecommerce SEO

Hummingbird vs Ecommerce SEO

How does this affect your ecommerce website? Well chances are if you haven’t seen any drops in natural search over the past month you should be ok. However there are a few things you should be aware of with the new update Google decided to ninja on us a little over a month ago. We’ll begin with an overview of the general changes I’ve read about and seen.

To me, it seems like the main focus of it was purely for users. Unlike Panda and Penguin, Hummingbird put the focus on the user as opposed to the algorithm. Some examples of this is the focus on conversational searches, kind of like a siri that responds with search results. For example: Here are some results for “conversational searches”

who is miley cyrus?

what does miley cyrus do?

what does miley cyrus sing?

what is a twerk?

A big part of the Hummingbird update was a large focus on the knowledge graph as well, They continue to add in top rails to push the organic feed lower and keep users on the website. For the same conversational searches above, the results are below

who is miley cyrus?

Who is miley cyrus

This shows a mini about section including family members, birthdays, what she’s done, movies she’s been in, related searches.

what does miley cyrus do?

what does miley cyrus do

Her occupations, what she is best known for

what does miley cyrus sing?

what does miley cyrus sing

A scrolling rail that when you click changes the search result to the “Miley Cyrus + [song]” it also keeps you on Google much longer.

what is a twerk?

what is a twerk

It should never be spoken of again.

So what does twerking have to do with my ecommerce site?

Well, with the conversational searches becoming more prominent and people stepping away from short tail keywords, long-tail keywords are becoming more and more important, and that’s where ecommerce sites can thrive. They have sites built for long-tail and through common internal linking strategies, and proper on-page optimization – your website can be built for the future of Google, and step away from the “computers” “laptops” “sports” search queries that are slowly fading away.

Some things to think about I’ve been vying for this since I’ve joined the company I currently work at. It’s know that microformats and rdfs’ are still very readable by Google, even data-vocabulary has been seen still working. But if there is something you want to be ahead of the game in, it’s schema.

In ecommerce schema implementation can be a huge win. You can increase your click through rate on serp pages by including breadcrumbs, price, reviews, authors – and further tell Google what your pages is about adding item types to organize your content. Implementing can be a large work order for your IS team, so have the code ready for them and take an hour to explain on to implement it.

Mobile. 12% of Google’s search now come from a mobile device, and presumable around 25% in the year 2020. That’s a lot of cheddar. Optimize your website for mobile browsing as a separate experience as a whole, or develop an app and market users towards buying that. B2B Markets have less to worry about, however this is yet another win for the future of internet marketing. Don’t sit around while another Amazon is being built up.

Ecommerce mobile is definitely one of the toughest things to properly implement. Especially if your integrating marketplace. Weighing the priority would be your first bet here. If mobile currently makes up 5% of your total website revenue – it might not be very important, however as I mentioned before being ahead of the game is never a bad investment.

Content. Back to ye’ old content is king quote. With the prominence of long-tail keywords being the central focus – targeting those deeper levels might be the new primary focus for your website. “Laptops” may bring the 100,000+ traffic, but “hp pavilion laptop computer with intel core i3 processor” will convert much more.

Ecommerce content is probably more difficult to scale that ecommerce mobile is to create. Some unique pieces of content to thing about or reviews, features, images, about, description, colors, related items, cross-selling – these are all things that should be able to be dynamically generated as well as internally linked from all levels of your website. Example: Your hp pavilion laptop computer with intel core i3 processor could definitely link to your hp officejet pro multifunction printer. Get creative with your content and utilize of your assets.


So if you work in-house or for an agency on an ecommerce website, some major changes the Hummingbird update presents are conversational changes, knowledge graph designs, and long-tail keyword targeting. Some things you might want to encourage the company to invest in are mobile optimizations, microformats, as always – content.

Feel free to contact me to talk about ecommerce seo @andrewliwanag,, and connect with me! linkedin.

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