Google’s Hummingbird Update


September 30, 2013

Along with a Google Doodle that had the world going crazy with their spacebars, Google also introduced an exciting new update to mark its fifteenth anniversary. Named “Hummingbird”, this update is centered on Google’s algorithm, aiming to refine search results, and help Google respond to complicated queries with more accurate answers. This is made possible by broadening the use of Google’s Knowledge Graph, which helps the search engine to decode the concepts behind user searches, instead of merely providing keyword-based results. Google Hummingbird update is believed to affect 90% of search queries.

Here is a look at how the update is expected to refine search results:

  • A search query that does not have a simple answer will now return a comprehensive set of relevant facts. An example of this is the results that show upon searching for “impressionist artists” on Google.
  • This update has a significant impact on voice searches, as Google will now try to decode the meaning behind the search, instead of simply focusing on the keywords. For example, if you are searching for “best place to buy pizza in New York”, Google will now show up results for pizza restaurants in New York even though “restaurant” was not a part of search term.
  • Google now links a subsequent search to the previous search. For instance, if you had searched about for “images of the leaning tower of Pisa”, and your next search is “When was it built”, Google will understand that your second query is in reference to the previous one.
  • An example of how search results after the update are superior to previous results is a search for “prescription for acid reflux”. While this previous turned up a list of drugs, the search results for this query are now more user friendly, even questioning the need of drugs for the treatment of this disorder.

The Hummingbird update is bigger and huger than Google’s previous updates like the Panda and Penguin updates. This is because while those were merely modifications in the existing algorithms, this is a complete replacement, structured to meet the search requirements of today- as opposed to those of ten years ago. While the Hummingbird update is expected to take the search engine experience a step ahead, there has been no major impact witnessed on website traffic so far, as was the case with Google’s past updates. The thumb rule remains- keep publishing high-quality content and Google will reward you.

To know how Google’s Hummingbird update will affect your online business, call us at – (855) 375-9654

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