Almost all internet users use Google products on a daily basis. Whether it’s Gmail for their online email account or Google maps to find a location and maybe get directions to it, Google has become a big part of most of our daily lives. Most notably is their search engine, which is used for over 90% of all searches done over the internet. But even though Google search is used by so many people per day, most people don’t notice when they change their internal engine that decides what results appear when you search for something.
Every year, sometimes several times per year, Google updates the way their search engine works. Their updates are usually just upgrades like you adding better tires to your car. But as of this month this has all changed, they rolled out their new engine built almost entirely from the ground up.
Google’s new engine is now named ‘Hummingbird’, mostly because of its resemblance to a Hummingbird’s speed and accuracy. Google has always ranked websites in searches based on relevancy, which usually meant how many other sites linked to your website. But now more than ever it is important for every business to be found on Google, even if you don’t conduct any real business online. Auto shops need to be found when your car breaks down and restaurants need to be found when you are looking for a place to eat.
This problem was recognized by the ever growing Google and has made their search engine hummingbird more conversational based and relevancy is focused more on reviews. The more reviews you are getting on your location pages, the more relevant you are among your competitors. However, just getting a review isn’t enough. The average rating of each review you get can mean the difference of showing up when potential customers are looking for your services, or being harder to find than Jimmy Hoffa.
We take this as a good thing, especially for small businesses. This lets you get ranked and found on Google based on the actual product or service you provide and how happy your customer was with it. Now it makes it a lot harder for big business to come in with a bag full of cash and buy the first place in all searches, especially if their product is junk. If you encourage your customers to review your business more often, it puts the power in your hand: who shows up on top and who doesn’t?