Google’s Algorithm Takes Flight with “Hummingbird”
September 28, 2013
There’s a new buzz (or should I say hmm) in the search engine world. On the eve of its 15th birthday, Google announced its newest addition to their algorithm family: Hummingbird. Unlike Panda and Penguin which were updates of the old algorithm, this new algorithm change won’t cause you to see any dramatic ranking or traffic drops but it is one to keep an eye on as it seems to be a clear indication that Google is trying to tailor to the way people are searching.
So what’s changed exactly? Hummingbird, which was named for its “fast and precise” attributes, is a search algorithm that is meant to keep up with those longer tailed searches a user is searching for and hoping to bring more a specific answers. This includes more advanced voice queries in which your tablet or computer will answer back to you. Basically, Google is looking to be the smartest friend you can have. A virtual love child of Jeeves and Siri. With better focus on the meaning of words, the goal of hummingbird is to look past exact match words and know the deeper level what it is you’re exactly looking for.
While this new change doesn’t seem like it should have webmasters running to check dramatic drops in rankings, it should have them thinking about how they are presenting information on their site. Any time Google seems to be making a change for the better, you should look to make sure your site coincides with the points they are trying to improve on. If Google is trying to present overall better search results for the user, you should be presenting Google with the most information possible. With this new algorithm, it seems that content is going to be more important than ever. If you have yet to start a site blog, now is the time to start putting some thought into it, as I foresee this once overlooked component of a site to become one of the more valuable assets a site will have. Discussing the common (and not so common) issues or questions that come up in your industry will not only continue to show your relevance but I’m predicting it will be the key to grabbing traffic from those super specific search queries that I have no doubt will add up.
As a searcher, this sounds great but I’m sure we’re all a little skeptical. We’ve all seen those Google auto responses that guess what we are trying to ask. Can our thoughts and the question we are seeking really be broken down into a systematic way of searching? I think we will all have some fun trying to watching the answers unfold.
Elisa Houghtelin is one of the Account Managers at SEOhaus. If you would like to stay up-to-date on all of the latest SEO industry news and tips, you can subscribe to our blog here. Thanks for reading the SEOhaus blog!