The New Google “Hummingbird” Search Algorithm

posted in: News

Google has recently released their new ‘Hummingbird’ Search Algorithm – so what does this mean for you and your website?

Apparently, ‘Hummingbird’ has been up and running for a month or two now – Google managed to keep it quiet – so you’ll be wanting to check your Google Analytics to see what’s going on.  Did you notice any sudden changes in the last month?

Google has said that this is one of their biggest updates in years. The new algorithm is said to be a “complete re-write” of the previous algorithm but it has retained some elements of the old Panda and Penguin.  Whilst this adds more intrigue to Google, content is still king.

The Hummingbird update is indicative of a shift in focus from keywords to connections and intent – or in layman’s terms: Conceptual Content. Instead of releasing content action-packed with keywords, it’s now become more important to create content that focuses on answering questions and serving the needs of an audience.

In particular, Google has said that Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a search query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular key words. The ultimate goal is to translate complicated searches to results that actually answer the conceptual question – rather than delivering a whole bunch of page results that are simply filled with matched keywords.

In other words; “where can I get Pizza at 10pm on Tuesday in Auckland” will look for page content that addresses the question – through content concept matches – rather than simply returning results of pages that simply mention “Auckland” and “Pizza”.

The new algorithm means that websites focussed on keywords, rather than concepts and sentences, are likely to lose Search Engine placement and therefore traffic.

So, have you checked your analytics yet?  If your site has suddenly started losing traffic – this could be due to Hummingbird.  Obviously, you’ll be wanting to correct this as soon as possible and optimise your content for the new algorithm so that you can improve your sear engine ranking.

Purple Dog Design offer Search Engine Optimisation services and would be happy to discuss this with you. Get in contact with us today to find out how we can help!