I was reading SearchEngineLand's Top 10 Columns Of 2013, which lead me to reread Eric Ward's How Will Google Hummingbird Impact Links?, 08-October-2013. One quote in his article resonates much more now than when first read in the original AP story:
Note: I've expanded on what Eric quoted.
...people have become so reliant on Google that they now routinely enter lengthy questions into the search box instead of just a few words related to specific topics.
With the advent of smartphones and Google's voice-recognition technology, people also are increasingly submitting search requests in sequences of spoken sentences that resemble an ongoing conversation. That trend also factored into Google's decision to hatch Hummingbird.
Eric picked up what I missed but which appears from my Google traffic to be quite accurate. You can read his 'clues' for yourself. What I'm sharing is some analytics from my sites.
Note: comparisons are pre-mid Sept (pre-Hummingbird) and after.
* device breakout: 88->71% desktop/laptop; 10->23% tablet; 2->6% smartphone.
Note: numbers are rounded averages across all sites, 01 Jan-25 Sep, 26 Sep-noon 31 Dec.
Note: my sites' content being evergreen information there is little obvious 'local' draw.
* the pages seeing the greatest growth in Google search referred traffic ARE those with headings (h2-h6) that ask questions.
* 80% of that increase is smartphone and tablet.
I was certainly fortunate that I have a good many headings written as questions. No, I'm refraining from rewriting others. Not everyone is asking questions, I'm not chasing the algo. What you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts; it's six of one and half a dozen of the other...
However, if I was heavy into Local and especially seeing smartphone referrers increasing I would be researching which questions ARE being asked by my audience that I have or should be addressing and test with and without headings as questions and follow-on content as answers.
Has anyone else noticed this either for or against?