ICYMI – Google’s algorithm update – Hummingbird review. Originally published on PlattForm’s blog.
September 26, 2013 – Google announced the release of their new algorithm update called Hummingbird. This update focuses on providing faster query results and improving semantic searches. Even though Google announced the update in late September, it was actually rolled out over a month ago.
Google has over 500 updates to their algorithm each year, so why is Hummingbird so important? Unlike some of Hummingbird’s other animal predecessors, Penguin and Panda, which only affect around 3-5% of searches and sought to penalize sites that attempt to manipulate search results with unnatural link tactics or thin content, Hummingbird affects around 90% of all searches and is not meant to target any one particular group . This update is meant to improve searches. Hummingbird is the largest Google algorithm update since Caffeine came out in 2010.
Hummingbird is aimed at better understanding search intent and improving results on more complicated questions. Google will focus on ranking sites that have a better relevance for the entire query, and not just a few keywords. To better understand how Hummingbird is intended to work, check out Google’s Nexus commercial in which a boy talks to his tablet, “Google, what is glossophobia?” and then after delivering a raving presentation, catches the eye of a young girl and then types a question into his tablet, “How do I ask a girl out?”.
With the increased number of mobile devices, users are frequently asking Google questions verbally and in a more natural way, than they tend to do when typing queries. This evolution of conversational-style searches will make it more prevalent to integrate semantic keywords and phrases into your content, if you’re not already doing so.
Nothing has changed when it comes to optimizing your website. SEO efforts should focus on these main strategies: developing a strong keyword profile for each page, creating engaging and unique content in attempt to answer the users question, link build with high authority sites to develop trust in your brand, maintain a strong social media presence and promote further engagement with your audience.
Google’s goal is to provide the most beneficial and relevant site for each unique search. Shouldn’t your website’s goal be the same?