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Google: Hummingbird

Tuesday, October 08, 2013
Published in SEO & SEM

Everyone's heard of Google. How about Google Hummingbird?

But everyone hasn't heard of Hummingbird. Hummingbird is the new code name for Google's latest method for listing search results. So why do you ask is it important for you to know what Google's up to and how its search methods work.  If you care where your business or organization is listed in Google search rankings then you care how Google gets you to the top. Hint: it's all about the algorithm.

Google has been around for fifteen years now, and Hummingbird is apparently the biggest thing they've done to the algorithm in twelve.

If you are now thinking how might this affect you, then take a look at a Google search result for your keywords and content then have a look. Do a search and most importantly, sign out of any Google accounts prior to your search. You'll get unfiltered results that way. The Hummingbird algorithm has already launched about a month ago. If your listings have changed, up or down significantly, you've probably been visited, collected and activated by the bird, the hummingbird.

What's going on?

Hummingbird is designed to let Google quickly parse entire questions and complex queries and return relevant answers, as opposed to looking at queries on a keyword-by-keyword basis. Think about how we've been using a search site. We type in keywords that closely match what our needs are. With a more intuitive thought process you wouldn't speak that way when carrying on a conversation and Google knows it and is responding accordingly. It's clear that keywords are becoming less and less important to search engine ranking success as Google gets smarter at figuring out what things mean, both on the query side of things and on the webpage side of things. 

This is really just an extension of Google's ongoing strategy to become less dependent on keywords, which may have major implications for keyword centric SEO websites. For those competing to get on search results pages this needs to be part of your consideration now instead of sometime in the future.Our theory is it's probably going to be more important than ever to give Google as much information about your site as possible, so that it "understands" it. We imagine that Google will continue to give SEO experts new tools to help with this over time.

Google Guidance

Google's SEO guidance remains the same, build good quality content and everything should be fine. Our advice continues to support this strategy however we are still convinced that keywords are part of the Hummingbird food chain and we are hesitant to give them up.

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