Just over a month ago, under the radar, Google released a brand new search engine algorithm called Hummingbird. You may or may not have noticed that there was a slight dip in rankings as search results adjusted to this massive upgrade, probably the biggest change at Google since 2001.
Why Hummingbird? because it is quick and precise, say Google.
Hummingbird will bring into the search results a better understanding of the meaning or conversation of your search and what you are actually trying to find rather than just giving you pages that contain the keyword or phrases within. Google had already started to offer what is called natural conversation search but it was limited to a few pages. Hummingbird aims to now offer this across many billions of pages.
The changes will be subtle but in future if you type in a search for ‘heart palpitations after exercise’ you may well get a list of drugs related to heart disease, advice on heart palpitation, NHS, treatments etc, a far wider range of answers than before. Google is trying to understand the meaning more than just the individual words in the sentence.
Googles’ PR rank, the original list of over 200 factors associated with ranking your website, like Alt Tags, H1 Tags, Text etc, is still used by the new Hummingbird algorithm but the results will be scrutinised even more closely than before.
Other alterations to the old algorithm we have discussed on this blog like the Panda and Penguin updates have been transferred to the new engine. So any SEO work done with Panda and Penguin, like quality link building and quality content creation still count. Other smaller updates and refinements to the old engine that were still useful have also been transferred over to Hummingbird. So customers should not see too much of a change in their SEO.
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