What’s the Google Hummingbird Update and the Purpose behind it?

October 25, 2013

Google Hummingbird is the latest change that the technology giant has made to its algorithm that runs and manages the search engine result pages. While Google Hummingbird is the latest update, it is not similar to the updates made over the years, ala Penguin and Panda among others.

The Hummingbird algorithm is an entirely new set of protocols altogether. Over the last decade, Google has brought about numerous updates but all of them were changes to the existing algorithm. The protocols were changed and tweaked to fine tune the entire foundation on which the search engine indexed websites and pages, ranked sites and returned search results. With Google Hummingbird, the old algorithm has been replaced with a new one.

The Hummingbird algorithm is new but it is an extension of all the best protocols that the search engine had and it has several new protocols. In other words, all the changes that had been made over the years, including the significant Penguin and Panda updates, are still there in Google Hummingbird and there are some new features which would further refine the search engine’s user experience.

Companies and internet marketers across the world are worried about Google Hummingbird’s impact on SEO. Most are anxious that the impact on SEO would be a game changer and shall penalize millions of sites again, as the last updates did. Fortunately for all and sundry, the Hummingbird algorithm will have no impact on SEO from the perspective of companies, internet marketers, search engine optimizers and webmasters. However, there would be an impact on the user experience, which is the primary purpose of Google Hummingbird update.

Till now, Google has been focusing on the important keywords or the essential keywords in any search criteria, overlooking or not giving importance to other words in the search phrase. With the Hummingbird algorithm in place, every word entered by the user in the search box would be taken into consideration and shall be given due significance. For instance, a search initiated with ‘best web hosting plan in New York’ would have focused on results that were primarily optimized for ‘web hosting’ and then ‘New York’ but now it would focus on ‘best’ and ‘plan’ as well with equal significance.

Also, Google Hummingbird would read between the words and try and understand what the user is looking for. As an example, in such a search a user is looking for a plan of web hosting that is the best, ala finest and cheapest, in New York. The search results would be refined to be as relevant as it can be for the user.

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