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Hummingbird Algorithm Release Notes

You may have heard some rumblings about Google’s brand new Hummingbird algorithm. Although it was just recently announced, it has actually been in effect for over a month. It completely replaces the old algorithm; but, that doesn’t mean that it’s made of completely new parts. Basically, it keeps keep the things that were working well and adds a new level of website and search comprehension to the mix. Why name it ‘Hummingbird’? Well, it’s about precision and speed.

Keywords have been becoming less and less important each year, and Hummingbird is designed to take a much deeper look into the meaning of phrases and the context of words than merely scanning for terms. Unlike the various updates that wreaked havoc on rankings for many, this algorithm is more subtle. It represents a shift, for sure, but the immediate impact has been minimal.

There are two main reasons that Hummingbird’s release has been quiet for the most part. First, this big change in the way Google processes information would only be noticeable on a query-by-query basis. So, large-scale ranking slides are unlikely. Second, it doesn’t really change a whole lot as far as how SEO is handled. Mostly, it just helps Google understand the information better, and process it quicker. For instance, instead of just identifying prevalent terms on a website, this digital mind supposedly understands whole sentences and their intended meaning.

It is pretty impressive for a piece of technology to be able to get context, and understand questions and references, especially considering that humans don’t always do it well. Like all changes, it will take some time to know just how far forward the new algorithm takes the search arena. Analysts expect the results to be better for sure; it’s just a matter of degree.

Again, the algorithm is new, but the pieces of the older model that have proven effective have been incorporated into it. SEO is not dead, nor is PageRank, Linking Profiles, etc. The newest and most exciting parts of the algorithm are similar to what we have seen with Google’s Conversational Search used within its Knowledge Graph answers. “In general, Hummingbird,” says Google, “is a new engine built on both existing and new parts, organized in a way to especially serve the search demands of today, rather than one created for the needs of ten years ago, with the technologies back then.”

What is important for you to know is that Spiral Cities stays on top of industry news, trends and research so that our strategy is always up-to-date. We are excited, actually, that Hummingbird may create a bit more normalcy in the way people write and interact online. And, of course, when you are doing ethical and educated SEO, most algorithm changes do no harm. In many cases, in our experience, they help. Hummingbird should be no exception.