What is Google’s algorithm Hummingbird update all about? Let’s take a closer look…
What is hummingbird?
The Google update, Hummingbird, came into force in September 2013 but unlike other updates like Panda and Penguin, Hummingbird is more of a complete change of approach. Its been named Hummingbird due to its precision and speed.
The purpose of hummingbird is so Google can interpret natural language and respond effectively. It has taught Google to understand our intent when doing a search. Rather than looking at each keyword, Google can now look at the whole search query for context. Once Google has analysed its users search query it focuses on delivering us greater localization of results, which in turn, gives us answers which are relevant thus useful. In summary hummingbird is designed to improve the quality of its answers.
Why has Google implemented the Hummingbird updates?
For those of us old enough to look back ten years ago and remember where we were technologically it is clear why we might need these updates. A decade ago social media platforms were beginning to evolve and gain popularity, but we weren’t using voice searches or mobile phones to do searches on Google. Times have changed. Social media platforms are now central to our everyday lives and, with 40% of smartphone users benefiting from voice recognition to text its no wonder Google has applied these updates. We are literally talking to Google throughout our day. Therefore, Google have made changes to ranking, online content and links with the purpose of improving our experiences.
After all, search engines like Google are there to serve us and be as helpful as possible. As humans we adapt and change all the time and if technology wants to keep up, the likes of Google, also need to stay relevant.
What changes need making since Hummingbird?
If your ranking has been affected since hummingbird we would advise you change the way you use keywords and begin to implement long-tail and conversational terms. Hummingbird no longer uses seed/ head keywords which means site owners and marketers need to evaluate current and previous content with the intention of weaving in long tail keywords. Sites which have focused on
long tail keywords have experienced greater success. Using phrases like who, what and where are proven to help with ranking as these are the types of organic language that people are using when typing and speaking. Additionally, by ensuring your site is mobile-friendly and running at a good speed will give you better ranking.
Let’s recap on Hummingbird
Finally, Hummingbird is all about making Google more human. It aims to deliver the highest quality and relevant sites in response to your search query needs. Google has gained an ability to interpret our vague searches and colloquial tones of voice but nevertheless you still want to create a sense of clarity throughout your site as you want Google to direct users to your site because its clear you have the answers. Google have been reasonably transparent about the updates which means we can make changes to our sites if our ranking has been affected. However, it has been said that the Hummingbird update hasn’t had too many negative results.