With the constant update in technology Google, like all search engines, strives to make search results more relevant. Online users are becoming more sophisticated, so do their search queries.
People now are asking questions of their search engines, not just simply typing a few keywords or phrases. To know more about Google Hummingbird Algorithm Update in SEO, keep reading this article till the end.
Google came up with a solution to this with an algorithm update named “Google Hummingbird” or “semantic search update” on August 30, 2013. It’s the biggest change to their algorithm since 2001.
Hummingbird is more about being able to understand search queries better with the rise of conversational search. With the Hummingbird update, Google can interpret these questions with more intelligent search results.
Google wants to ensure that it provides high-quality results for longer queries. In short, Hummingbird caters to long-tailed search queries (a phrase used for a search query).
Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that that whole sentence is taken into account rather than keywords. Web Pages matching the meaning give a better outcome than the pages matching a few words.
It’s an algorithm to ensure they are serving the best results for specific queries. How often Google makes updates in Hummingbird is not known yet.
For example, if a user searches for “the nearest burger joint to Paris University”. A traditional search engine would focus on the keywords looking for the page which contains words like “burger”, “joint”, “Paris University”.
Hence the search result would be all over the page. But Hummingbird is designed to understand the nature of the query and to recognize it as a sentence with a definite meaning- “where is the closest burger restaurant to Paris University?”
What’s so unique about the Hummingbird update?
Unlike the previous Penguin & Panda algorithm of Google, the Hummingbird algorithm is not a penalty-based update, but a change in the way Google reacts to different types of queries. Hummingbird is made up of more than 200 factors that can affect ranking & search.
It places more emphasis on-page content making search results more relevant and pertinent thus ensuring that Google delivers users to the most appropriate page of a website, rather than a home page or top-level page.
With the help of Hummingbird, Google was able to refresh not just their index but its search engine as well. Hummingbird update positively impacted the types of sites that are providing high-quality content.
Nowadays many people prefer voice search instead of just typing. This brought about the term “conversational search” the main element of the Hummingbird algorithm which is designed to focus on the meaning of the phrase rather than individual keywords.
Impact of Hummingbird on traffic
Google is working towards a new level of speed and precision in its search results. Google states that Hummingbird was designed to address the semantic need query. The new Hummingbird update was not designed to create major shifts in traffic.
If you have seen a drop in traffic, it is more likely due to Google’s regular update and if your site hasn’t experienced a drop in traffic, it’s unlikely that Hummingbird will have any adverse on your traffic in the near future.
Google strives to make online searches more responsive to the individual user and its ability to understand the contextual meaning of online search queries.
The best way to increase your organic traffic is by writing genuine content and Google will reward you with increased traffic.
Impact on SEO
If you’re using a white hat approach, you shouldn’t be worrying. By following the best SEO practices, there should be little or no adverse effects on SEO. For SEO professionals, it’s a good thing as it helps weed out the black hats making outrageous claims.
For publishers and content writers, Hummingbird is a boon so long the content being produced is worthwhile. The algorithm intends to get rid of irrelevant content and spam. Hummingbird allows Google to find authors which produce high-quality content and rely on them to be “trusted” authors.
The link building practices are also affected, as Hummingbird seeks to find faulty practices by evaluating inbound links in a more complex manner. Hummingbird is far more intelligent & precise than the last algorithm engine, so it recognizes keyword stuffing and issues penalties accordingly.
Therefore Hummingbird is a significant leap into the future for both the search engines and their users.