What Business Owners
Need to Know about Google Hummingbird
Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates created quite a stir in the SEO world. Changes made during those updates caused major industry changes. After Panda and Penguin, scammers lost a heap of money– but so did a lot of popular brands. At the same time, underperforming domains with great content (like dummies.com, for example) were able to blossom and become dominant forces on the web.
Hummingbird Changes: Revolutionary, Yet Subtle
Compared to Google’s other famous algorithm updates, Hummingbird is very different.
The changes implemented during the Hummingbird update didn’t rock the world and cause controversy. But they did upgrade Google’s “brain.”
The Dawn of “Conversational” Search
When Hummingbird came out back in 2013, voice recognition was hot. As a result, people started using normal speech to conduct Google searches.
When people talk to their smartphones, they tend to use actual sentences– not just simple keywords.
Sensing a coming shift in the way people use search engines, Google updated its entire search engine to reflect the new trend. The post-Hummingbird version of Google is able to understand grammatical syntax, context and the relationship between keywords.
In other words– Hummingbird made Google a whole lot smarter.
Google Hummingbird: It’s Built For the Future
According to Google search chief Amit Singhal, Hummingbird is the biggest change to the Google algorithm since 2001. Yet, most publishers and SEO experts didn’t see any major fluctuations following the Hummingbird update, according to an article from Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land. The reason for the lack of SERP movement following the release of Hummingbird could be that the world isn’t ready for intelligent search yet.
Hummingbird is great at figuring out complex search terms. The problem is that the majority of people who use Google still punch in keywords when they’re looking for stuff.
As time goes on, though, the way people use Google will continue to evolve. Once people begin to realize that they can interact with Google using full sentences rather than keywords, the implications of Hummingbird will begin to become more clear.
What Kinds of Sites Does Hummingbird Like?
The Hummingbird flavor of Google prefers natural, conversational writing. To make content that appeals to Hummingbird, just keep focusing on quality. If most humans find your content interesting and informative, it’s likely that Hummingbird will too.
A Concrete Example of Hummingbird In Action
During a press conference following the debut of the Hummingbird upgrade, Google showed a few examples of Hummingbird in action to the press.Prior to Hummingbird, the search term “pay your bills through citizens bank and trust bank” delivered the Citizens Trust home page as the first search result. Now, Google takes you directly to the page you need to use to pay your bills online. The demonstration proves that the Hummingbird edition of Google is able to figure out what you’re trying to do by analyzing the relationships between the individual words in your search query.
It’s a subtle change, but the implications are staggering. Google is beginning to understand how human languages work.
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