What is Google’s “Hummingbird” Algorithm : Complete Information

Google Algorithm Updates can be heart breaking for many bloggers and Webmasters. However, Majority of Bloggers and SEO Experts know about Panda and Penguin algorithms of Google so they make proper plan to handle these updates. Few months ago, so many websites including major and minor sites experienced a massive search traffic drop, which badly affected them. It was strange because it affected google’s own blog and many social media profiles as well. SEO experts tried their best but still failed to find the reason behind this.
On last Thursday, Google officially revealed their new Algorithm called “Hummingbird” which was the main cause of massive search traffic drops. It is the biggest change made by Google since “Caffeine” update in 2010. To know more about it, read the complete article.

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What is the meaning of “Search Engine Algorithm”?

When you search anything on Google, it returns a set of results. An ordinary user just use Google search for finding relevant contents. They never try to know the working.

Search Engine Algorithm” is just a technical term, which is used by Google to name the technique which sort through the billions of web pages and returns relevant results. So many websites are there on internet which is increasing day by day. Google still tries their best to show best results to users. For doing this, they keep updating their Search Engine Algorithms.

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What is Hummingbird?
What is Google's "Hummingbird" Algorithm
Hummingbird is the name of new Search Engine Algorithm of Google. It has been introduced by Google to return much better results in SERPs(Search Engine Result Pages). According to Google, “Hummingbird” means “Precise and Fast“. This algorithm has been revealed officially by Google on last Thursday but it was already working from last Month and was the main cause of massive traffic drop down of various websites.
Is Hummingbird different from Panda and Penguin Algorithm Updates?

The answer is “Yes“. Let me explain this in more details. Panda and Penguin algorithm updates were just an updation in some parts of old algorithm but Hummingbird is an entire replacement of an old algorithm. For understanding it better, let’s take an example- When you change any parts of your Smartphone, it’s like Panda and Penguin updates. However, when you change the whole mobile(Purchasing a new mobile), it is like Hummingbird algorithm.
This kind of change was made by Google, long time ago i.e in year 2010 when it introduced “Caffeine update“. However, it was mostly meant for better indexing. Hummingbird has been introduced for better Sorting of information. It means, a relevant information containing site will appear higher in Google SERPs(Search Engine Result Pages). If you are new to SEO, you must read Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide for Beginners
Does Hummingbird Algorithm uses Old techniques of other updates?
The answer is again “Yes“. The explanation is quite logical as well. If some parts of your device is Good then why will you toss them out. Normally, we only replace the damaged part of any device to make it working again. Same is the case with Google’s Alogrithms. Some techniques of old algorithms were good so Hummingbird is also using them. However, it is also using some new techniques for returning better results.
What is New?
According to Google, they have made two major changes which are listed below:

1. Better Handling of Complex Queries

Now a days, users never search for any single keyword like “iPhone 5”, “SEO” etc. Instead they look for long tail keywords like “How to buy an iPhone 5 Online“, “How to implement SEO in Blogger?” etc. These kind of search queries comes under Complex Queries. Google always tries their best to show relevant results to users but it was not possible with old search engine algorithms. For understanding it better, let’s have a look on below given example-

When you search for something like “where’s the nearest place to buy Samsung Galaxy S3 Mobile from my House?“. A traditional search engine will focus more on “Buy” and “Samsung Galaxy S3 Mobile” and will return results based upon these two keywords only which may or may not be relevant to users. It is because, user wants to know about the nearest place from his house, which offers selling of Samsung Galaxy S3 Mobile.

Hummingbird applies different technique and thus tries to focus on the meaning behind the words. In case of above written query, it might look for the location of your house first(If it has been shared by you with Google) and then for the nearest Place which sells Samsung Galaxy S3 mobile. At the end, it will return much relevant results.

It means, Hummingbird doesn’t focus on any particular Keyword. Instead, it pays more attention on each and every word present in search query.

2. Improved Voice Based Search

Google Voice Search

After the introduction of Hummingbird algorithm, Google has made it clear that, they have improved Voice search as well. As you all know, Google is undoubtedly the best search engine in this world which is used by so many users of different culture, country, Location and Languages. It makes the voice search more complex than Text based search. Now a days, people are making use of Tablets and smartphone more as compared to Large computer or laptops. Google has taken this in account while developing their new alogrithm. This new algorithm understands voice-based queries much better than before and returns relevant results.

It’s Like having a conversation with Google because you ask your question and Google will answer the same.

Is Hummingbird Good or Bad for Users?
As i mentioned earlier, It’s an effort of Google to make their search engine much better for their users. Hummingbird is in use from last one month but Google hasn’t got so much complains about poor search results which means it is Good for users. I am saying this because People often complain, when things get worse for them.
From the Editor’s Desk

As an user, i always prefer Google for searching rather than any other search engines like Yahoo or Bing. It is because, they returns poor results. Google always tries to give their best. Google’s Hummingbird is an approach for achieving the same. So stop using Bing or Yahoo.

If you are a webmaster, it can be a cause of concern for you because it can affect your targetted traffic(Organic Traffic) which comes through Google. If you are new blogger which doesn’t have good PR or backlink then it can cause an issue for you because it check the relevancy. If your contents are not engaging, there is a possibility that your blog/website will get poor ranking in Google SERPs.

Ravi Kumar

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