Google Hummingbird Algorithm Update

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Google loves their animals, and it looks like the Penguin and Panda have welcomed a new friend: the Hummingbird. Google Hummingbird is a new search algorithm that is used when search queries are made. Basically, a user types in a word or phrase that they want to search and the system that sorts through all of the information and comes back with answers is called Hummingbird.

We can expect that Hummingbird will work closely with the Panda and Penguin updates to create a better Internet – at least for users. For webmasters, well, we may have some work to do.

What is Hummingbird?

Google assures us that Hummingbird will generate improved search results, and the concept behind the system – and the name – is that it is “precise and fast.” Google has been using Hummingbird since August, but did not announce the change until late September. Chances are, no one has really noticed the switch since Google made it quickly and efficiently. Interestingly, there hasn’t been a change this big to a search algorithm since 2001. Sure, there was the Caffeine Update that made a splash back in 2010, but that had more to do with gathering information rather than sorting through it.

Google also says that Hummingbird does have many of the old “parts” to it, so not everything is new. In short, we’re getting a new search algorithm as well as updates from Panda and Penguin, which means the Internet, is being shaped in a whole new way. This means that for webmasters, sites that once fell at the top of the rankings may very well be several pages down. The results are supposed to help users, but this doesn’t mean that the same is true for webmasters.

What Will Hummingbird Do Better?

The goal of Hummingbird is to focus more on conversational searches, and the search algorithm will better analyze the meaning behind the words. For instance, it may understand the location of your home or that a place you’re searching for is supposed to be a mom-and-pop shop. Basically, each word is paid more attention to, and the entire sentence is designed to make sense, rather than just pulling out certain keywords.

The good news is that Hummingbird has not affected many website in regard s to rankings, and if you haven’t noticed a significant decrease in traffic, then it looks like you may have made it through unaffected. 


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