Hummingbird is the biggest iteration of the Google algorithm since Caffeine in 2010. It is, however, going to have less impact immediately on search marketing than the Panda and Penguin updates. Amit Singhal, of Google, said 90% of searches have been affected by this algorithm change. It was interesting to note, however, that very little was said within the industry about affected rankings before the announcement was made.
The details of the Hummingbird amendments are provided below, detailing what has changed and how it impacts search marketing strategies.
In general terms, Hummingbird is a step towards the Google algorithm becoming artificially intelligent. Google’s goal is to be able to serve content based on what the searcher wants. A key performance indicator of this development is surely the number of searches a user makes in a short space of time (the higher number of searches denoting that the content is not relevant to their query) and also the number of pages a user visits per search term.
For example, 8 years ago 30% of searchers would look at search results past page one of Google. Today, it is only 10% and it is likely to decrease as Google improves the indexing of searches against the real intent of the search (thus making it even more significant to increase SEO rankings).
So let’s have a look at Hummingbird in detail. What are the changes and what does this mean for search marketers and website owners.