Google has celebrated it’s 15th Anniversary by releasing a new Algorithm.
It’s calling this new Algorithm “Hummingbird”, this is because it is
“precise and fast”
What is a Search Algorithm?
Think of it as the way that Google decides which information, out of the billions of pieces of data on the web, it should present you with after you search.
What type of “new” search activity does Hummingbird help?
“Conversational search” is one of the biggest examples sited by Google.
When speaking searches, you will find it easier by having a conversation.
“What’s the closest place to buy the iPhone 5s to my home?”
A traditional search engine would focus on finding matches for words — finding a page that says “buy” and “iPhone 5s”.
Hummingbird should be better at focusing on the meaning behind the words, it allows Google to parse full questions rather than term snippets.
It is hoped that it will understand the actual location of your home, if you’ve shared that with Google. It might understand that “place” means you want a brick-and-mortar store. It should understand that “iPhone 5s” is a particular type of electronic device carried by certain stores. Knowing all these meanings may help Google go beyond just finding pages with matching words.
In particular, Google stated that that Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.
How does this affect your site and content?
Gone are the days of quick fixes to SEO.
What this might mean for copywriters and content editors is that we can still continue to step away from keyword heavy copy – and we can start introducing even more colloquialism and conversations.
Yes – we are already doing this to create a better user experience, but it just means that we need to be more reliant the mantra that we at Cocoa have been hitting clients with for some time now:
“make a commitment to continuously producing original, high-quality, fresh and above all, regularly updated content”
Does this mean SEO has had it’s day?
The short answer is no. In fact, Google’s saying:
“there’s nothing new or different SEOs or publishers need to worry about”
Guidance remains the same, it says:
“have original, high-quality content”
SEO elements that have been important in the past remain important; Hummingbird just allows Google to process them in new and hopefully better ways.
Does this mean I’m going to lose traffic from Google?
If you haven’t in the past month, well, you came through Hummingbird unscathed.
It went live about a month ago. If you were going to have problems with it, you would have known by now.
If you feel you dis lose traffic it could also be due to some of the other parts of its algorithm, which are always being changed, tweaked or improved. There’s no way to know!