November 12, 2013

Google Hummingbird tries to remove the masks

Image by Frank Kovalchek on Flickr

This is the second of a two-part series on Google Hummingbird. Also see:
Google demands your papers with Hummingbird

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Chris AbrahamIam back in the dating pool and have really enjoyed hearing everyone’s war stories. They’re, of course, first-world-problems; and, most of them feel like they’re torn directly from romcoms and sitcoms: “he was a decade older than his photo” and “he looked nothing like his photo” or “he was nothing like the way he described himself,” and “I really felt like I was bait-and-switched” and even, “if he thought he could lure me here under false pretenses and then make it all good on charm and personality, it didn’t work: he was charmless and lacked personality.”

Google feels the same way.

But because Google was built by an army of earnest, hopeful, and lonely nerds, it has taken over five years for Google to get a clue.

It’s been hard to listen to Google get hurt again and again over the years. “Oh, he’s not a bad guy, you just don’t know him like I do.” Poor Google, always falling for the bad boys.

Well, Google, just because they’re cute, charming, and have a wicked smile doesn’t always mean they’re an angel. And, just because they tell you everything you want to hear — just because they mirror you perfectly — doesn’t mean they mean it.

Today Google’s still single, wounded, and getting a little bitter, becoming a lot more guarded.

Hummingbird takes on the hucksters, hustlers, & spammers

All of this getting hurt has resulted in an extensive series of sensitive red flags: Assume if they say they’re 6’3″ they’re really 5’6″. Assume that if they say they have a degree from Princeton it’s actually a community college while living in Princeton, New Jersey.

Google has become pretty cynical about what its suitors are telling her.

I know how it is. I’m always mislabeled by dating profiles as “athletic build” instead of “heavy set” — I mean, can you blame me?

Writing fiction on the Web is too compelling. It’s impossible to resist. There’s zero accountability.

I don’t know if you’ve read Ender’s Game, the novel by Orson Scott Card, but my favorite part had to do with the hearts and minds war that Ender’s loving younger sister and psychopathic older brother, Valentine and Peter, waged on the earth while Ender was fighting Buggers in space. In the book, these two children took it upon themselves to hack into their version of the Internet, misrepresenting themselves not as precocious boy and girl geniuses but as rabble-rousing right- and left-wing political pundits. This subplot is an amazing insight into how vulnerable we are when we’re under duress and feeling uncertain. We always become vulnerable to the demagogue.

Google’s Hummingbird attempts to tear the mask from hucksters, hustlers, spammers, charismatic leaders, and demagogues; and, if their mask is fused on, then Google aspires to bury them at the bottom of the pile.

To be rewarded by Google, invest in your genuine self

With Google’s latest algorithm update, Google aspires to become a professional matchmaker, doing the background check, the profile due diligence, the assurance of compatibility required to make sure that you don’t waste your time.

While Google has always been a pretty good, PlentyofFish, OK Cupid, serviceable meat markets of people hungry to find and be found, now Google is morphing into eHarmony.

If you fight Google by remaining anonymous, misrepresenting yourself, fooling people, doing bait-and-switches, then Google will banish you

So, Google’s giving you several roads out of perdition: you’re shorter, older, fatter, stupider, less successful, poorer, less charming, and much less handsome, beautiful, gorgeous, and sexy than you’ve been saying. Google will find out if you’ve been using Cyrano to write you into the world. If you’ve been using Don Juan’s handsome face and lithe figure instead of your own, with Hummingbird, along with its Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, you will be stripped down to your undershirt and skivvies. You will be revealed.

Don’t worry, it’s OK. If you invest in yourself, what you can really offer the world, your real voice, your true name and real face, then you’ll be rewarded handsomely by Google.

If, on the other hand, you fight Google and insist on remaining anonymous, misrepresenting yourself, fooling people, doing bait-and-switches, building your success and career on a false name, false skills, and false experience, then Google will banish you, sending you away with only Bing as your back-up plan.

Thing about Bing, though. Bing’ll date anyone and Bing’ll believe anything. If you don’t reform and work hard at becoming the man that Google wants — and Hummingbird demands — you to be, then you’ll always have Bing.

Join AdWords, AdSense, G+, Connected Accounts and more

OK, you’ll probably want to do anything and everything in your power to win Google back — and here’s what you can do to get started:

Good luck!


• Why Google Authorship matters to your business (

• Content strategies to deal with Google Panda & Google Penguin (

• What goes into Google’s search rankings recipe? (

• More SEO articles on

• 15 ways to increase traffic to your blog ( Abraham is a partner in Contact Chris via email, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment below.

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