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Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm Update – What It Means

Introducing Hummingbird – Google’s Largest Search Engine Algorithm Overhaul to Date

Google’s recently named algorithm change “Hummingbird” was first noticed in mid-August, but what changes does it bring to the SEO game?

After the black and white not-so-cuddly updates of Pandas and Penguins Google this time round has chosen something more colourful: the Hummingbird. So what’s Google gone and changed? Quite simply it has done a major overhaul, so everything (to an extent).

When did the Hummingbird algorithm change happen?

The Hummingbird was previously an unnamed change that was noticed in the SEO industry around mid-August.

What does the Hummingbird name represent?

The Hummingbird update has been likened to the Caffeine update that occurred in 2010. Google says it chose Hummingbird because they are “precise and fast” and that’s exactly what this overhaul has been designed to do.

Google Humming Bird

Does that mean we don’t have to worry about pandas and penguins?

The panda and penguin updates were component changes. What does that mean? If you think of Google’s algorithm as a car motor its updates are like taking it in for a service and upgrading or replacing an old part that wasn’t working any more. The Hummingbird is a brand new engine, but modelled using effective and working parts of the old engine. So the features of panda and penguin still exist, but are improved and becoming more relevant.

Why has Google made this change?

Google’s Hummingbird overhaul is to keep up the momentum of the way people and technology are changing the way we use the Internet.

So what should I look out for?

So in June 2011 Google announced it was introducing a voice search feature to its browsers. The Hummingbird overhaul is building on that by really focusing on what you say and creating the most relevant results. So if you ask “What is the weather outside?” is will focus on where you are and providing the most relevant results, faster and more accurately than ever before.

This feature is especially important (and most frequently used) with mobile phone searches. Despite the voice search technology having been around for a couple of years, with Google predicting more and more Internet searches to come from mobile phones improving the way people can access search is vital.

So has the humble Hummingbird finally killed SEO?

Once again SEO services survive. Although this latest overhaul hasn’t seen the dramatic ranking drops of panda and penguin there is still a place for SEO in the realm of search engines and digital marketing. High quality content and strategies are still needed, but Hummingbird just allows Google to analyse and read information in new and better ways.

Is Google’s Hummingbird making searches better?

Google is always focused on increasing the web user experience. Google has always tried to provide the most relevant results to your search term and the latest update is really focusing on the why you are searching for something and honing its results on that rather than just matching the words you’ve typed in. The Hummingbird is the next advancement in searching the Internet and we look forward to getting to know this update and future innovations.