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Understanding the Google Hummingbird Update

Posted by Andre' Savoie on Oct 15, 2013 2:15:17 PM

If you are a regular Google user, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed a bit of a difference in your search results lately.

The reason is the latest update from Google, called Hummingbird, which turned out to be an interesting updated although it was rolled out without much fanfare.

hummingbird

Why the Change?

Google is always trying to make their search engine as good as it can possibly be, and that is why they keep updating their algorithms. With all of the search engine options out there, they know that if they want to keep people coming to use their site, they have to continue to find ways to make it better and more accurate.

Google developed the new “Hummingbird”, algorithm as a means to handles some of the longer search queries that come through the site. In plain English, this means when you type most or all of a question into Google looking for an answer.

Statistics verify that many people enter more than just a few keywords when they are looking for something, and this update addresses that. It can parse the search entries, which are often much longer phrases. For example, instead of putting in a string of search words, someone might enter an entire long phrase, such as “tell me more about the comic book creator Stan Lee”. The new algorithm can understand that request and provide the correct types of search results.

Behind the Curtain

When Google revealed their update, at the original garage where Google was invented no less, they did not go into much detail about the technical aspects of the algorithm. They did let people know that it was the largest change to their search engine since their Caffeine update a couple of years ago. According to an article on TechCrunch, they let reporters know some of the other features and changes they’ve made. For example, they added the ability of their Knowledge Graph to handle comparison questions.

They did say they gave the new algorithm the name Hummingbird because it is fast and accurate, and that makes sense. The new algorithm should be making finding better results much faster for visitors.

What is the Impact on SEO?

Really this is more of a change for those in the industry. The algorithm doesn’t affect local SEO a bit. As long as companies are abiding by the normal good standards and practices for SEO, there is no reason to worry.

Often, when companies realize there is an algorithm change they panic and have no idea what to do. The way Google introduced the algorithm – secretly – was actually a huge benefit because it did not cause people to believe the sky was falling and did not send people scrambling to make changes that were unnecessary.

In fact, the way the new algorithm works should actually make things better for many companies. Since the algorithm can improve the search results, it might be easier for customers to find the exact information they want and the pages they need for various companies.

And if you’ve been creating high quality useful content on your sites, you should not have anything to worry about.

 

Resources: http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/26/google-recently-made-a-silent-shift-to-a-new-search-algorithm-hummingbird/

http://mashable.com/2013/09/26/google-search-algorithm-hummingbird/

http://searchengineland.com/google-hummingbird-172816

Topics: tips, SEO, news

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