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The Buzz on Hummingbird, Google's Latest Search Algorithm Update

Google unleashed Hummingbird, the biggest change to its search algorithm in more than a decade, about a month ago. Did you notice? 

Google is drilling down past keywords to intent with Hummingbird, trying to suss out what people really want when they use longer sentences or more complex terms to search. Some SEO experts note that Hummingbird doesn’t really change the way Google searches the Internet, it just changes the results in an effort to be more precise. It is trying to get to your true intent to deliver the results you want.

So what does this mean for attorneys who have been banking on keywords to boost their search results? Keywords will still have relevance, but what will become key is trust. Attorneys who want to rank well in search need to position themselves as the prime provider of the answers to questions their prospects are searching for, identifying intent, needs and problems and providing answers and solutions.

Establishing trust means you need to anticipate these questions and provide answers across several different platforms, including your own website, blog and social media. You need to become a relevant source for the answers to questions that potential clients are asking.

Last week, Danny Sullivan at provided a great FAQ section about Hummingbird.  It is suggested reading for those who want to learn more about the latest updates to Google Search.

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About this Author

Stephen Fairley legal marketing expert, law office management

Two-time international best-selling author, Stephen Fairley is the Founder and CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, the nation’s largest law firm marketing company specializing in marketing and lead conversion for small to medium law firms. Since 1999, he has built a national reputation as a legal marketing expert and been named, “America’s Top Marketing Coach.” He has spoken numerous times for over 35 of the nation’s largest state and local bar associations.