The Hummingbird algorithm offers a more natural way to use its search engines. In the past month Hummingbird was quietly deployed before any announcement was made.
The upshot, Google says, is a greater understanding of context rather than just content. That’s something the Knowledge Graph engine Google first launched last year can handle, pulling out answers on the same theme, or comparing different results such as today’s newly added comparison cards.
Google describes the changes Hummingbird brings as the most significant to its search engine since 2010 and Caffeine, according to Forbes. Whereas Caffeine was more about the speed at which Google indexed content online, however, Hummingbird is about relevance.
Google's Hummingbird Update - The Future of SEO
But for some.......
The Pearl Harbor of algorithm updates
Worst of all for many website owners was the fact that Hummingbird was launched as a kind of sneak attack, with Google dropping the bomb without warning which had the effect of taking many website owners by surprise.
“In the past, Google’s Panda and Penguin updates have struck fear in the hearts of SEOs as they watched their clients’ rankings plummet. While Panda and Penguin affected 1% or 2% and still caused panic, this new update is reported to affect the majority of search results and no one noticed until the announcement was made a month later.
The last Google update that replaced this much of the search engine was in 2010 with the ‘Caffeine’ update. Caffeine introduced the ‘live search’ and keyword suggestion tools, and many people seem to have forgotten the huge emphasis that it placed on social signals. This new update is possibly even more dramatic since it appears Google now understands the intentions of the words carried in these social signals.”
What it boils down to is that Google is only going to give high ranking to websites that provide a complete multi-media experience to visitors. This means the age of “Set it and forget it” websites is at an end and that using trickery to garner a high position is no longer going to be possible.
It also means that what was traditionally considered to be SEO-friendly will become as obsolete as many of the search engines that used to rule cyberspace. (AltaVista, the titan of the search engine world back in 1999 went dark for good in 2010 after seeing its share of the market reduced to two tenths of one percent.)
So if you don’t want to wind up relegated to the bone heap online, you need to create a corporate culture that is designed to feed a world wide web that is hungry for content, before Google’s next cute critter decides to take a bite out of your web presence.