What Does the Google Hummingbird Update Mean for SEO?
Yesterday was Google’s 15th birthday, which was marked by the introduction of their latest search engine algorithm called “Hummingbird.” The special event was held at the garage where Google was started in 1998.
As a side note, I can remember the day my brother sent me an e-mail telling me about this new search engine called Google. I thought it had a fun, cute sounding name. Earlier this year, Google announced that it generated billion in annual revenue for the year of 2012. That’s a little more than cute.
What’s Up With All These Named Updates?
Google routinely assigns names to major search engine algorithm updates. For example in June of 2010, the Caffeine update involved restructuring of the company’s indexing system which allowed them to deliver faster search results. The Panda update in February of the following year was mainly aimed at reducing the amount of low-quality/spammy websites being shown in the search results.
Google Hummingbird Update, Explained
For those of you not familiar with the term “search engine algorithm”, it is basically the formula that Google uses to evaluate over 200 different parameters that are directly or indirectly part of your website. Google said the name “Hummingbird “was chosen from being “precise and fast.” These updates sometimes target only certain aspects of the entire search criteria to accomplish a specific goal. This update involved rewriting the algorithm on a much more global basis. In fact, Amit Singhal, Google’s senior vice president of search, said that perhaps 2001, when he first joined the company, “was the last time the algorithm was so dramatically rewritten.” Although I just heard about this update yesterday when Google made the public announcement, I found out the update was actually made about a month ago. I have not seen any dramatic shifts in rankings or traffic on any of our sites.
What is the Hummingbird Update?
One of the goals of this update was to allow for more intelligent communication between the search engine and someone looking for information. This conversational search should allow Google to better understand the meaning of the entire phrase rather than just focusing on certain keywords within the phrase. They will be able to answer questions more like a human.
Voice search has also been enabled as part of their Chrome browser which allows web surfers to use their computer’s microphone to speak the search query rather than having to type it out. For people like me who do not like the type, I find it very convenient.
What Does it Mean for SEO?
Google is saying that there is nothing new or different search engine optimizers or website publishers should have to worry about. The things that matter most with regards to search engine rankings are still in place. Having unique, engaging, relevant content that provides the best possible end-user experience is something that will never go out of style. Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team has mentioned this on more than one occasion.
Will Hummingbird Help You or Hurt You?
As a web surfer, you will most likely find the update to be very helpful and more intuitive when it comes time to searching. If you are a website owner, and you update your site on a regular basis with relevant useful information, you don’t have anything to worry about. If you would like to see some specific answers, you can visit Danny Sullivan’s Hummingbird FAQ. I personally am looking forward to exploring some of the more intuitive features that are part of this update.
Your Marketing Crew is located in Tarpon Springs, FL and works with many with small business owners in the local Tampa Bay area as well as many cities throughout the United States. Give us a call today at 727-210-5046 if you would like to increase your online presence and profitability.