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Google Hummingbird: What’s changing?

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Hummingbird is the latest big news from Google; an algorithm so fast and precise that is set to revolutionise the way we search for information. Or so they say!

Differently from Panda and Penguin, Hummingbird is not a partial update of the old algorithm: it’s a completely new one, designed to handle complex queries, focusing on semantics, sentences, long queries, and not just words!

Taking advantage of the latest Google features, mainly Voice Search and Knowledge Graph, Google is transforming its engine into a ‘conversational search’. Despite this, keywords will still be relevant. It will be the context and full meaning of sentences that will define the search results.

Fundamentally, Hummingbird is humanising the way we will search for information: in a conversational way. Talking to Google, it will speak back to you (literally!) and it will provide cards (Knowledge Graph) to show exact answers. Google will get to know you, combining terminology and context, aiming to refine your search results. Clever, eh!

So far, only few have noticed changes in their rankings since Hummingbird was launched. This could be down to two main reasons: Hummingbird is still in its early stages and a few features will need some fixing; and it is still working on a combination of common SEO practices: original and high-quality content, well-designed websites, frequency of updates, etc.

So what’s new then?

Even if not officially confirmed by Google, we think that these are some of the changes that are in place:   

// Rich content, prioritisation of sentences over keywords
// Secure data, elimination of keyword data from analytics
// Authorship, attribution of content back to the author

What Google is doing is elaborate and complex, but when you try it on your iPhone it just works, and it feels natural: just like having a conversation with a very smart friend!

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