Last week, Google quietly dropped some major news—they made a huge update to their core search algorithm, one that will likely affect up to 90 percent of searches worldwide. Known as “Hummingbird” for whatever reason, this change was actually implemented about a month ago, but wasn’t formally announced until last week.
What is Google Hummingbird?
The good people at Search Engine Land offer a pretty good analogy:
Think of a car built in the 1950s. It might have a great engine, but it might also be an engine that lacks things like fuel injection or [the ability] to use unleaded fuel. [Hummingbird is] as if [Google] dropped the old engine out of a car and put in a new one.
Hummingbird enables Google to handle more complex search queries. It doesn’t really change the way Google operates, but it puts more focus on user intent and the context of search terms. Hummingbird is designed to understand concepts, and the relationships between concepts, to give users the most specific results possible. Instead of focusing on just the individual words in more complex searches (e.g., full questions written out as sentences, instead of just a few key words), it’s designed to understand the entire query and retrieve answers (websites) that best match the whole thing.
Now, depending on who you ask, Hummingbird is Google’s biggest update since either 2010 or 2001. It’s just one of many algorithm changes that Google has made over the past several years—remember Penguin and Panda?—but for it to labeled as “the biggest” is kind of a big deal. With these nigh-constant updates to Google’s programming, you may find that you need the experts at Ecreativeworks to help you stay on top of it all.
What Does Hummingbird Mean for Your Website?
With every Google algorithm change, people tend to raise the cry that “SEO is dead.” And every time, those people are proven wrong. Hummingbird will not kill your SEO efforts. By and large, all currently accepted, “white hat” SEO practices—like the ones the Ecreativeworks team uses so proficiently—remain the same, with the same end results/effects.
As always, there are some exceptions to the rule, and some sites may be negatively affected by the Hummingbird update. If your site took a hit, a monthly SEO program with Ecreativeworks can help you right the ship. We’ll work with you to get your site’s traffic back to pre-Hummingbird levels. (Or better!)
Contact Ecreativeworks today to set up your SEO program. Whether it’s a Hummingbird or a Penguin, a Panda or a pachyderm or even a platypus, we’ll give you the solutions your website needs to thrive in the Google menagerie.