Googles Little Hummingbird

Google has recently announced their newest Algorithm, the Humming Bird. Launched around a month ago, this new change is an answer to some of the more complicated search queries in the worlds biggest search Engine.

This latest change is a big one, although it may not effect some of those big traffic earning keywords, it can still be looked at as the main engine change on the machine that drives Googles search algorithm. Updates like Panda and Penguin are still highly relevant but are seen as extensions to the core algorithm.

The new algorithm is now supposed to be effecting up to 90% of worldwide searches as they try to keep pace with the never-ending evolution of the internet. As queries have become more & more complicated, traditional Boolean systems have begun to deteriorate as the needs to match concepts & meanings in addition to words has become more prevalent. With the introduction of more accurate voice recognition systems users are asking the search engine questions rather than simplified search terms.

For example Where is the nearest place to my house to buy an Xbox 360? the old algorithm would highlight the important keywords in this sentence like buy and Xbox 360 and break them down to provide search results. The new engine analyses more aspects of the search query i.e. understanding to my house as the location and listing results more accurately to the initial question.

What Does This Mean for SEO?

For SEO practitioners this isnt going to be that much of a hindrance to ongoing campaigns. Unlike previous updates that disturb major traffic flow, hummingbird does not seem to have had a major effect on users rankings. After all Google announced this update went live over a month ago, so if youve been hit since then its more than likely a ramification from the Penguin or Panda updates.

You might have heard the fallacy that SEO is dead, the fact is its more alive than ever, it just requires the revaluation of methodologies integrated through content driven mediums such as social media. Google have stated that there is nothing new or different SEOs or publishers need to worry about. Guidance remains the same have original, high-quality content. Signals that have been important in the past still remain important

Hummingbird if anything allows search engine marketers to better align campaigns and ensure clients pages are listed for longer search terms. Google have also said that searches like pay your bill though Halifax bank used to list the Halifax homepage in the search results, now the exact page within that website will be listed. Likewise when asking questions about certain brands or companies instead of listing third party forums and community sites the relevant webpage will be listed as a priority.

Google says the update with be both ‘precise and fast’ justifying the Hummingbird title. The update itself is possibly one step further towards the ultimate goal of semantic search, whereby search engines better understand our queries and the true meaning of words.


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