Hummingbird is a known name for us, as kids we learn this name as the smallest bird in the world with a beak to tail length of 2 inches only. Refresh your memory if you are in the SEO industry as this is the name of the latest Google algorithm update as well. I will put it in a nutshell here because you can read tediously long discussions at other places.
A search algorithm is the computer program that Google runs to decide the ranking of every website for any given keyword, it cant be said more succinctly. Thus, Google Hummingbird is a refinement in the program so Google can give you even better results. No need to be legally correct here, if you get the sense then its enough.
PageRank is certainly one of the important factors even after the Hummingbird but like we stated a few many times by now, this is not the only factor. It is among the 200 factors which Hummingbird takes into consideration. PR decides the link value but then there are of course other factors like the page quality, the content quality and and so many other but important SEO factors.
The implication of Hummingbird usage vary from expert to expert but the common point for all the experts is that it will help Google to present even better search results. The incident might be compared to overhauling your car completely to incorporate changes to adapt to the modern age.
The need of the user has changed and also has changed how SEO guys go about their business. With every update, Google has strive to give better result for the viewers and SEO guys have tried to twist the arm just a little more to get the desired ranking. This time Google thought of getting a step ahead of the SEO community with this algorithm update as many experts revealed a large part of Google’s algorithm using deductive findings.
For your information, there was never this big an algorithm change since 2001, according to Amit Singhal. Even the Caffine update in 2010 was not half as big as it.
A quick question for you, why every Google update is black and white? Check this image for yourself.
Google must be kidding, eh?A dedicated SEO manager interpreted it by saying, these colours represent eternal fight between good and evil, white-hat vs black-hat. Go, figure.
Coming back to the point, I heard people talking of Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird in the same breath. While the outcome is not much different, there is indeed a great difference in the characteristic. While Panda and Penguin were mere updates of the existing algorithm, Hummingbird is a complete change of the algorithm, or a change of the major parts of the algorithm. However, as the intention behind the move is to provide better results, so we don’t see much difference in the resulting effect.
Now to the most important part…what to expect from Google Hummingbird update?
Conversational search has been improved. With Google voice search and that Android based Google Now, Google couldn’t have delayed this at all. With this, conversational queries, which are more like the naturally spoken language, we can access Google search function easily and Google also can understand and return us better search results.
Hummingbird is designed to understand each word of a search query contextually and singularly thus Google will be able to understand long term keywords better and present better search results. Previously Google used to find or scan for major keywords in a longtail and present results based on that. With people adopting more and more super longtail or conversational keywords, it would seriously improve the user experience.
Now the little confusing part. How do the results vary before and after the Hummingbird update? This is difficult to say because, we are not really sure when Hummingbird was implemented. Thus, we cant exactly point out the differences between the search results for the same query. But Google has given us some examples of how the results are way better now.
What does it mean for us? Is SEO dead? Nope, no, nada. Like every other update it makes Google user experience better but SEO will stay as relevant as it was. Google is saying they will understand the queries better. So, nothing is stopping you from using the Google rulebook and creating good old content rich websites. Hopefully, with this update Google will send better traffic to you as well.