Google Hummingbird is the newest update to the algorithm of the world’s most popular search engine. While the previous updates to the algorithm affected only a small percentage of results, it is estimated that Hummingbird has affected nearly 90% of results. Despite this large effect, many people are puzzled by what the update actually did. Here is a look at some of the ways that Google Hummingbird affects search results.
Conversational Phrasing – One of the biggest changes in Hummingbird is that it is much better at understanding conversational phrasing than previous updates. Previously, search engines would base their results on an analysis of each individual word in a query. If you search for “restaurants near me,” Google will now use what it knows about your location and provide you with results that will help you find restaurants that are near you. When searching for the same query with algorithms before Hummingbird, you were likely to find a site that contains the phrase “restaurants near me” or a site that is designed to help you find restaurants. Google Hummingbird seeks to circumvent these middlemen, allowing you to find exactly what you’re looking for with fewer clicks.
Voice Queries – A growing percentage of search queries on Google are performed on mobile devices. Previously, the increased popularity of mobile searching meant that Google had to improve the way that it handled short phrases that aren’t concerned with grammar. The algorithm had to be designed that way because people do not want to type as much on a mobile keyboard. However, the last few generations of smartphones and tablet computers have made it common for people to input search queries by speaking rather than by typing. When speaking, people are much more likely to enter their queries the way that they would speak to another person. Hummingbird is designed to give much more relevant results for these kinds of queries.
How Hummingbird Affects Your SEO Strategy – Each Google update leaves SEO experts and web designers scrambling to redesign their strategies in order to get the best rankings possible. As with previous updates to Google’s algorithm, Hummingbird makes it less effective to stuff your content with popular keywords and phrases. The best way to be successful in a post-Hummingbird world is to populate your website with high-quality content that will properly address the interests of your readers. Good content that is unique and engaging will improve your rank more than any type of SEO micromanagement. However, very few sites will see their search rankings affected by the changes introduced in Hummingbird. Hummingbird is an update that affects the user’s experience much more than it affects the designer’s experience.
Google is continually tweaking its search engine to deliver better results to its users. The Hummingbird update makes it easier for people to find the content that they want with less hassle and fewer misleading links. If your top priority is providing your audience with the best content possible, you will not have to tweak your strategy to find success with Google Hummingbird.