Recently updated on August 25th, 2022

With the vast amounts of information available in our “connected” online world of websites, blogs, and social media, being able to find relevant high-quality content continues to be the underlying principle in search engine optimization (SEO). People are searching for more information on their computers, tablets, and smartphones every day, and they expect to find that information quickly and effortlessly.

Google Hummingbird algorithm

One of the biggest providers of search results is, you guessed it, Google. In order to continue providing users with relevant, high-quality search results in a quick and precise manner, Google has recently updated its search algorithm.

Coined “Hummingbird” (perhaps for the creature’s quick and precise characteristics), the new algorithm for search engine optimization has been designed and engineered in focusing more on a search query’s overall meaning, rather than on the individual keywords that it’s comprised of.

Google’s new Hummingbird search algorithm now focuses more on a search query’s overall meaning, rather than on the individual keywords that it’s comprised of.

How Hummingbird changes search

With many search engine optimization strategies out there (both good and bad), many website owners and SEO service providers have lately been focusing on keyword relevancy within their content.

It was originally thought that by having popular keywords scattered within a page(s) of a site, Google would see those popular keywords and thus bring up the page in search results, assuming that the content on the page was relevant to the actual user performing the search query.

Now with Hummingbird, Google has matured that principle and is now providing a search algorithm that goes beyond having the “right” keywords on a site.

Here’s a real-world example of how the new Hummingbird algorithm may work:

Say you are searching for “how to pay bills using Bank of America”. Google’s old algorithm would most certainly return Bank of America’s website in its search results, but it may bring up Bank of America’s homepage instead of a page with content on how to pay bills specifically.

You may also get results from other websites that have content or reviews on Bank of America’s bill pay services, which could be of less relevance to certain people who perhaps may not trust third-party sources for their banking needs.

Hummingbird, on the other hand, would instead theoretically present a page within the Bank of America website that has content specifically on available bill pay services, which would ultimately provide the user direct access to the information he or she was searching for on the most relevant site available.

How Hummingbird can affect your site

Hummingbird is Google’s biggest change in its search engine algorithm since 2001, according to Google’s search chief Amit Singhal. This change could, however, result in some website owners and internet marketing companies who provide SEO services not being as pleased with the update.

If Google determines that a site uses certain search engine optimization strategies that are out-of-date, or breaks certain search engine optimization semantics, their site could ultimately see a drop in search rankings and overall web presence.

With the rise and high usage of online search, however, especially now on mobile devices, it only makes sense that Google makes all the necessary changes to stay up-to-date with today’s technologies and high demand for relevant information. Learn more about search engine optimization and how we can help your site stay up-to-date with Google’s quest for the ultimate web experience.

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