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Google Hummingbird – What It Means To You

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If you are still optimising you pages the same old way, not only are you going to find it harder to rank but you you just may be running the risk of a Google Penalty! 

Video Transcription

G’day and welcome to today’s episode of Rapid SEO Expert live. I’m your host, Shane Walker, and in today’s episode we’re going to go through how to correctly optimise a web page for the new rules of SEO.

This training, like everything else we’re involved with at Rapid SEO Expert, is designed to get you found online and then use advanced marketing automation to turbocharge your sales and keep your customers coming back for more.


The Google hummingbird algorithm has now changed the way it looks at pages and the way it ranks pages. Google is far better now at understanding the topic of a page and how it fits into that particular search phrase and how it matches a user’s queries.

So, if you want to know more about how hummingbird works, refer to my previous post on how to rank for multiple keywords where I go into that in depth. Essentially, the rules of SEO have changed and Google now understands your content and your topics a lot more.


Before we even start to go through the latest on page seo techniques, it all starts with good keyword research. Now keyword research is just like the foundation of a house. 

You can have a strong beautiful house but if the stumps are made of balsa wood or something dodgy, there’s a fair chance that the house is going to come tumbling down on you.

Latest On Page SEO Techniques

Keyword research is the first point. If you choose the wrong keywords, there’s a fair chance that you won’t rank, or if you do actually rank, then you’re not going to get a return on your investment and you’re not going to convert to sales. 

This is simply because the keywords you’ve chosen are not the correct ones for what you want to achieve.

Now, I’m not going to go through keyword research because there’s lots of tools and lots of methods out there, but the big thing to know with keyword research is don’t get caught in the trap of more is better. 

What a lot of people do when they start their keyword research is just look at the search volume per month. They think, ‘Oh, this particular phrase is about my business and it’s getting heaps of people per month, so I’m going to optimise for that.’


Now, just because a search phrase gets lots of visitors per month doesn’t mean that those visitors are really targeted and will convert to sales. A good example of this is my particular industry with the term, search engine optimisation. That gets tons of searches per month, and lots of people search for it but it’s what’s known as a really broad topic.

Now, the people that are searching for the term, search engine optimisation, could be looking for tips on how to do their own, they could be trying to understand what it is, a comparison between that and paid advertising. There’s so many things that particular phrase could fit into, but we could also narrow that phrase down toSEO specialist in Brisbane.

That particular term is going to get far less searches than the term search engine optimisation, but the people that are looking for that particular term are far more targeted because they want to speak to an SEO Expert that is currently in Brisbane, so obviously, they’re looking to get help with their SEO. So, don’t fall into that trap of more is better. Make sure that it’s targeted. Now one way we do this is to look at the AdWords cost per click when you’re doing your research, and generally speaking, the higher the cost per click, the more targeted that particular search phrase is, and the more that search phrase is actually converting.

How AdWords basically works is that people bid on a particular keyword and that pretty much sets the price. So, if people are paying a lot per click or they’re bidding a lot per click on that particular keyword, they’re not going to keep doing it if it’s not converting to sales. So you might have one particular search phrase that is getting a thousand searches per month and it doesn’t have an AdWords cost per click, it might be zero or fifty cents.

But you’ve got something else that’s only getting 300 searches per month and suddenly, it’s got a $6.50 or a $6.75 cost per click. From the outset, that says to me that that term is far more targeted and it’s converting to sales a lot more because people are paying money to have that click, and they’re not paying money for the other click. So that’s a very important thing to remember with keyword research.


Now the next thing is, beware of ego keywords. Ego keywords are basically those keywords that you feel really good about ranking for. And you can say to a person, I rank number one for X keyword. 

A good example of ego keywords and why it’s not always a good idea to rank for ego keywords is if you’re in the weight loss industry. Absolutely tons of people search for the term weight loss.

But the problem with the term weight loss or the problem with ego keywords is that they are super competitive. In this weight loss example, we’ve got the likes of Light and Easy, Jenny Craig, and all the big weight loss companies. They’re spending tens of thousands of dollars per month on their marketing and their SEO and all those activities. 

So, for you to be competitive with an ego keyword, you’ve got to be spending at least the same amount as what the top players are just to be competitive. That’s not to be able to beat them, that’s just to be competitive. So, don’t always go for the ego keywords. Just be careful, look at them and ascertain how much you’ll need to spend to be competitive.

Google Hummingbird - What It Means To You 1

A good SEO consultant should be able to give you a fair idea of that anyway. There’s times when I get new customers and they say I want to rank for X, and I just have to say to them, with your budget there is no way I can achieve that for you with the amount of money that you’ve got per month. Because your competition is just spending way, way more than you.

So now that you’ve got your keyword research, we’re ready to go. It’s time to optimise the page. The first things we want to optimise on the page are the page title, the description and your H1 tag.

Don’t Go Overboard With Keywords

Now where this has changed with Google’s hummingbird is don’t go crazy and repeat the same term throughout the title, the description and the H1 tag. That’s because the rules of SEO have changed. Hummingbird understands the topic of a page and, because hummingbird understands it, Google are absolutely dynamite on penalties for over optimising your website. So, if you put the same keywords right through everything, there’s a fair chance you will pick up an over optimisation penalty.


And that website penalty, even though Google are very, very strict on it, is Google’s fault. 

Google created this because when their algorithm was less sophisticated, it had to see a certain word a number of times and then it would just draw a conclusion that this word is in there a lot, so therefore it must be about that particular word.

At the time, the algorithm didn’t understand the content or the topic and the depth of the content properly so Google rewarded the practice initially. 

But now Google’s turned around and said, ‘now we’re going to penalise you for what we’ve been encouraging and rewarding’ so it’s really Google’s problem, but at the end of the day, it becomes our problem.

On Page SEO Factors

Take Advantage Of Latent Semantic Indexing

We’ve got to make sure that we don’t over optimise, otherwise we will get a penalty and we won’t rank so just replace the exact match with synonyms. With a synonym, they’ve got to mean the same but they’ve also got to be legible.

You can’t just shove any word in there that means the same if it doesn’t read correctly. But one of the best tools that we use for this is LSI graph and it can be found at lsigraph.com. And it’s really easy. You just put the keyword in that you want to rank for and it will give you a heap of synonyms with which you can replace your key word throughout your website.

So, once you’ve got your title tags and your H1 done, the next thing to do is to optimise your article. Again, the first thing we must have on our article if we’re going to optimise it correctly is topic depth which I’ve gone through in a previous episode, “How to rank for multiple keywords.”


Topic depth is very, very important. The more content you’ve got on a page, the more hummingbird gets to understand what your page is about, and the more chance you’ve got of ranking for multiple keywords. 

But we want to make sure that we’re not repeating the keyword throughout the page so again, we’ve got our topic depth and then once we’ve written our article, go through it and replace the keyword for synonyms that make sense from LSI graph. 

In addition, those synonyms are also search phrases that people use, so we’ve got far more chance of ranking for those particular terms as well. We’ve got to be really careful with our keyword density on our page because again we don’t want to get a Google penalty for over optimisation.

When it comes to optimising your webpage, that is pretty much it. It’s not rocket science, it’s a fairly simple content concept.

Key Points

To summarise, the main on page SEO factors are:

  • To make sure that you do your correct keyword research.
  • That you don’t repeat your keywords throughout the titles and your tags.
  • That you use related synonyms from LSI graph or other sites
  • Have topic depth on your site so that you give Google more keywords to rank for

So that’s it for our on page seo tips. If you found this training to be helpful, please share it with your friends.

Action Points

Your action points for the day are to go away and have a look at all the content on your website. 

Does it fit the new rules of SEO or are you running the gauntlet of getting an over optimisation penalty because you’ve used your keywords too many times in your page?

Further Reading

Shane Walker Bust
Shane Walker

Shane is a former intelligence operative turned SEO and marketing expert. 

After spending years working long stressful hours in war zones Shane realised that the systems and processes used in the intelligence world can be used to grow a business online. 

For the last 11 years Shane has been a Director at Rapid SEO Expert and is a leading figure in the Australian online business community.

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