Understanding The Google Algorithmic Animals – 3) Hummingbird
Posted 27 July 2015
The Google Hummingbird algorithm differs from the other algorithm updates in that Google
considers it to be a complete rewrite of how the search engine ranks websites, rather than
simply a change to a few core features. Google started using the new Hummingbird code in
August 2013, but did not announce the release officially until September 26th, the day before
the company’s 15th anniversary.
Page Rank and Content
Hummingbird was a landmark update for the search engine because it marked a departure from
the long-standing focus on Page Rank and a movement towards the idea of synonyms and
context. Rather than just serving up the highest Page Rank page for a given keyword, Google
will try to understand what the person wants to know, and try to figure out how to rank them
based on that. For example, if a searcher uses the word “ford” in a query, are they interested in
“fording a river”, or “Ford, the car maker”?With Hummingbird, Google started to focus on solving
that question and on driving the development of the semantic web so that queries are better
understood and pages are better categorized.
Building New Habits and Long-Tail Searches
In the early days of Google, users were forced to learn to construct queries in a way that the
search engine would understand. Google wanted to get away from that by encouraging users to
enter long-tail keyword searches and natural language queries. This, combined with
improvements to Google’s knowledge graph system, has made search a much easier
experience for end users.
Unfortunately, some webmasters have lost out as a result of Hummingbird and some of the
related features that it added. The Information Card, which offers a summary of important
pieces of information about places, famous people, historic events and other similar, frequently
searched for items, was greatly expanded following the Hummingbird release and significantly
impacted the traffic of encyclopedia and directory-style sites that used to aim for users who
wanted simple facts and figures.
Those webmasters are now forced to take a more in-depth strategy.
If you want to reach as large an audience as possible, then you will now need to look at
providing more than just facts. Instead of competing for ranking, you are now competing against
Google itself. To stand out and attract visitors, think about providing value-added articles,
tutorials and information too dense to fit on an info card.
You can find more information here: https://www.viziononline.co.uk/seo/