Hummingbird is the latest search algorithm that has been launched by Google. It is the system that Google uses to shift through all the information stored in it and retrieve search results.
Hummingbird is Google’s brand spanking new algorithm that is intended to return search results more efficiently and accurately. A search algorithm, for those of you that aren’t aware of the term, refers to a formula of sorts that Google uses to soft through the unending amount of web pages and information in its possession, to come up with what it believes is the best answer to what you were searching for.
According to Google, the word ‘hummingbird’ refers to something that is ‘fast’ and ‘precise’ – pretty much what they are claiming this new algorithm to be. This new venture began to kick in at Google around August 2013 but was announced to the media in September. Google says that Hummingbird has been built with a combination of both old and new components and has been organised to cater to the search demands of this day and age, as opposed to the dated algorithm that was being used until now.
Google says that Hummingbird is a more ‘conversational search’ algorithm. As research has showed, people find it more meaningful to ask a question or hold a conversation where searches are considered. For instance, if someone was searching for ‘where is the closest Zara store to my house?’ Traditional search engines would focus on throwing up search results based on particular words like ‘Zara’. With Hummingbird, the focus shifts from individual words to the meaning behind these words. It is intuitive enough to pinpoint the location of your home (only if you have shared that information with Google, of course) in order to suggest a Zara store close by. It will also interpret the word ‘store’ to mean an actual store as opposed to an online store. All this collective information allows Google to go that extra mile rather than just suggesting pages that match the words you have searched for.
In essence, instead of isolating words, Google’s Hummingbird pays more attention to every single word in a search as an individual as well as a whole sentence or conversation. The reason behind this is that Google believes that pages matching certain individual words are not as effective as pages matching their meaning as a whole.
Ever since Hummingbird was announced, people are asking what bearing this new search algorithm will have on SEO properties. According to Goole, nothing has really changed. There are no new SEO parameters that have come into play with the advent of Hummingbird. As long as one has high-quality, original content, you are good to go. Everything that was vital in the past continues to be so. All that has changed is the way Google processes this information.