Entrepreneur’s Guide to Understanding Google’s Algorithmic Relationship to Intention

In Google Algorithms, Hummingbird by Shelby B Larson0 Comments

Understanding Segmentation and Intention:

We all know that when it comes to digital marketing that we are all playing in “Google’s sandbox”. While there are many aspects of an overall digital marketing strategy, we can’t overemphasize how critical segmentation and intention is to your success. Buyer’s intent is not a new concept. Since the inception of marketing, conversation about buyer’s intention has existed. However, what IS new is how Google’s main search algorithms now have requirements around intention. Understanding this can literally make or break your marketing success online.

2017 Search Trends:

With the inception of the Hummingbird algorithm, Google rebuilt it’s search engine for the first time since 2001. It would be irresponsible for us to try to convey the full extent of what this means in our digital ecoverse. (And frankly, most people don’t want all of the dirty details anyway. They just want to know what it all means to them.)

So! Here is what this means to you!
Google is a Business:

Remember, while Google may be everyone’s favorite search engine, first and foremost, Google is a business. Google’s brand and revenue lives and dies on the fact that it owns the market share of the online search market. This will only remain the same if they continue to be most people’s most beneficial choice – whether they like it or not.


When Google makes big changes to its algorithms it is usually an effort to improve the experience of the searchers. Remember, if Google is a business, then it is in it’s best interest to make sure that people searching online quickly and efficiently get the answers to the questions that they are asking. This aspect is not new.

With Hummingbird, what Google is now doing is not only chaining the various words together in a search to figure out what the searcher is asking, but now it is actually chaining the various searches of the searcher together in order to ascertain why the searcher is asking these questions in the first place.

Ranking Wins:

When you understand the intention in your buying segments (and more importantly, what Google thinks the intention is) you then have the ability to create content on your website that tells Google to send your target buyers your way. And if you don’t understand how powerful that is, just look at this screenshot from one of our clients. It’s obvious from the graph when we got involved, but the truly amazing part is knowing that we achieved that lift BEFORE we did anything off site at all.

Quality Score:

On top of ranking well organically, when you’re site is optimized for the intentions that the major search algorithms are written around, your quality score goes through the roof which, among other things, lowers your PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising costs – often significantly.


While the benefits to your marketing efforts are quite exciting, our favorite part of understanding the intention behind the buyers in your industry is that we now know how to adjust the language in our ads, onsite copy, content marketing campaigns and emails. When we know what our leads and buyers care about, we can talk to them in the way that best meets their needs.

Recently we had the privilege of interviewing Google. We shared our marketing philosophy and strategies with their rep who not only endorsed our strategy but shared a case study with us about one of their high-performers. A tile company created organic marketing strategies based around the intentions of their buying segments and their revenue jumped 300% in the first 30 days! So awesome!

You can listen to that episode by clicking on the image below: 



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