Google: What is the hummingbird update? A Vancouver SEO Company’s Take on Google’s New Hummingbird Update

October 8, 2013 | Internet Marketing Search Engine Optimization SEO

Blog Post By Longevity Graphics

What is the hummingbird update?

So, what is the Hummingbird update? The Hummingbird update is Google’s newest attempt to streamline their search engine and create a more user friendly service. Hummingbird is designed to yield more precise search results, and give users a more “natural” search experience.

Google named the algorithm “Hummingbird” because it is “precise and fast. The Hummingbird update focuses on user intent rather than the previous system of matching keywords.

Danny Sullivan wrote on this change in his article: FAQ: All About the New Google “Hummingbird” Algorithm: “Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in the query, ensuring that the whole query-the whole sentence or conversation or meaning-is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching a few words”

Google is clearly trying to create a more natural feeling to the search engine. In contrast with the mechanical keyword based style of the previous operating systems, Hummingbird attempts to truly understand what the user is searching for.

Hummingbird was only announced last week, but sources state that the update was put into effect in between late August and early September. It is being touted as the most significant change to Google’s search engine since 2001; It isn’t so much as update, as it is an entirely new algorithm that Google has chosen to implement.

From the same article Danny Sullivan explained the nature of the change using this analogy: “Think of a car built in the 1950’s. It might have a great engine, but it might also be an engine that lacks things like fuel injection or is unable to use unleaded fuel. When Google switched to Hummingbird, it’s as if it dropped the old engine out of the car and put in a new one. It also did this so quickly that no one really noticed the switch”.

 What does this mean for business owners?

David Amerland, author of “Google Semantic Search” says: “From a strategy point of view this opens the horizon for companies and webmasters considerably. From a practical perspective, they need to identify the USP of each business and become authoritative within it is now a key criteria for continued SEO success. The comparison element that has been integrated suggests that semantic mark-up may begin to confer an advantage now when it comes to helping index information in products and services.”

What this means is that quality rises to the top. To stay competitive In today’s online environment, business owners need to position themselves as people who have the answers to the questions being asked. Quality “likable”, “sharable” and “tweetable” content needs to be created and shared across networks.

What is the hummingbird update? It is Google’s new algorithm: “hummingbird” has made the leap from being a keyword oriented system, to turning google into a program that understands semantic language. Business owners will need to keep the new changes in mind when implementing SEO and building their brands online.