Hummingbird Takes Flight from Google

Yes, Google continues to change the playing field on the search market with the release, on their 15th birthday, of their latest search algorithm. This is a major shift and represents the biggest change since 2001 - Hummingbird is not just a tweak to Panda and Penguin, it is a completely new search algorithm that affects 90% of all searches.

 Hummingbird Takes Flight from Google

Google continues to stress the importance of all the existing approved SEO best practices and especially to focus on ORIGINAL, high quality content.

From our experience with working with hundreds of clients, their content is often the hardest area to keep fresh, up to date and of a quality that will continue to improve their organic rankings.

There are several factors that can be implemented such as regular EDM send outs, eTrigger campaigns, competition campaigns, mobile friendly content, custom web apps for blog posting, special offers, guest reviews, local attractions, news and events etc.

So, understanding a little on the way Google delivers search results helps give a better perspective on where to spend our time and energy, to produce better results online.

The following article by Jeremy Hull of iProspect helps clarify the shift in Google's search algorithm:

Google Hummingbird:
Where No Search Has Gone Before

Google has made several major changes to its search engine over the past several months. The biggest improvements involve longer search queries. Rather than just examining each individual word in a search, Google is now examining the searcher’s query as a whole and processing the meaning behind it. Previously, Google (and most other search engines) used more of a “brute force” approach of looking at the individual words in a search and returning results that matched those words individually and as a whole. Now Google is focusing on context and trying to understand user’s intent in order to deliver more relevant results and better answers. Google has made search more “human friendly” by making Google better at understanding language and how people communicate.

Most people won’t notice a huge change in the search results, but for longer, more complex, conversational queries, Google now gives much better answers. For example, say a user searches for “hotels near my location.” Previously, Google would analyze each word individually and provide results based on that — so you might get a Wikipedia article about hotels, some map results based on your current location, and travel portal websites with pages titled “hotels and location.” With Hummingbird, Google better understands what you’re asking for, and displays a list of hotels near your location. The results match the meaning behind the search, rather than just individual words.

Mobile searches are a very significant driving force behind this change. When users search on their smartphones, queries tend to be shorter — users don’t type as many words as when they’re using a full-size keyboard. But that trend reverses when voice search is used. Voice search queries tend to be longer, more complex, and more conversational. As we edge into the era of wearable tech, Google is making sure they are ready to provide the best voice search experience around.

Signed in users will be the biggest benefactors of these improvements, and this is the best example to date of Google tying all the information it has about its users together to improve their experience. In addition to the search query, additional information is pulled in from the user’s location (and saved locations), social connections (on G+), time of day, even previous searches.

Examples of previous search data take us back to voice search, and Google Glass. Google can now understand continuity in sequential searches — the oft-cited example is a Glass user asking, “When was the Eiffel Tower Built?” followed by, “How tall is it?” Google’s Knowledge Graph, its encyclopedia of 570 million unique concepts and the relations among them, helps power these kinds of interactions.

Ultimately, this is the driving force behind Hummingbird — making sure Google is prepared for a future where its users interact with it constantly, quickly, and verbally. By making its search engine better at understanding people, Google is paving the way for the future. Before too long the idea of typing a search on a keyboard will seem very quaint indeed.

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