Google Announces New Algorithm: Hummingbird

As the world’s most widely used search service, Google is constantly making changes to adapt to new user needs and the technologies supporting and creating those needs. Mobile in particular has grown more influential, as more searches and different kinds of searches are being performed on mobile devices. In response to this new reality, Google has unveiled a brand new algorithm update for us all to get to know – Hummingbird.

How Does Google Hummingbird Compare to Penguin & Panda?

If you haven’t noticed any significant changes in traffic or rankings, it’s because this update isn’t aimed at devaluing certain kinds of links (Penguin) or devaluing and ignoring certain kinds of content (Panda). It’s not intended to eliminate spam or come down on black hat SEOs that go against Google’s guidelines (those guys are our enemies, too!). Instead this update is about new features, expanded functionality, and the Google search engine adapting to the contemporary search world.

Google’s last major update of this nature was Caffeine, an upgrade to the Google engine designed to index the massive amounts of content being produced each second online. Hummingbird is an update to the Google engine that is designed to answer more complex questions by interpreting the relationship between words in a query rather than just deliver a list of content containing keywords. For example, Google is addressing questions that deal with comparison or knowledge seeking such as, “Is sugar or Splenda better for me?” or “What is best way to get to the mall and avoid traffic?”

Voice Search Optimization

Google is heading towards the optimization of voice-based search, so that when someone asks a device complex and conversational questions, Google will be able to return accurate results. Hummingbird also focuses on remembering the topic at hand so that various questions may be asked about one item without repeating the subject. For example the question, “Where was Shakespeare born?” can be followed by “Where did he study?” and Google search will interpret he as Shakespeare.

What Does Google Hummingbird Mean for SEO?

This still means that original and relevant content is key, and SEO writing may become easier and definitely more natural as search engines will go about searching for answers as a human might go about research. Hummingbird will focus on the overall concept of a question rather than the individual words of the question. We’ll keep you up to date on more Google Hummingbird details as they come out.