The Google Hummingbird algorithm is being touted as the most comprehensive algorithm change ever made by Google since 2001.  Not only in the Greater Cincinnati marketing arena, but everywhere, the implications of this new algorithm are huge! Here’s why…

The English language, by its very nature, tends to be a little bit ambiguous. As humans, we find it easy to navigate this ambiguity by analyzing the context in which the words or phrases were used. Unfortunately, this ability to contextualize search phrases has not been the main stay of the algorithms used by the top search engines. However, with the introduction of the Hummingbird algorithm, Google expects this change.

The primary claim which Google has made, with respect to the Hummingbird algorithm, is that it will display pages which are much more relevant to the search being performed. This is huge! Instead of merely generating pages based on the literal terms within the search phrase, Hummingbird will instead try to infer the meaning of the phrase and in so doing generate pages which are specific to that meaning.

Let’s look at an example. We saw her duck is a sentence which is commonly used to demonstrate ambiguity. It could mean that the girl had a duck and we saw the animal and it could also mean we watched as the girl bent her head to avoid something that was thrown. Let’s examine the following search results given by both Bing and Google with respect to this search criterion.

Bing Search

Bing search

As illustrate by the screenshot, Bing has eliminated the common words such as her, saw and we and has focused on the word duck, which it has inferred to be the key term. As a result, the pages at the top of the search result are all related to the animal. Let’s now see how the Hummingbird will address the same criterion.

Google Search

Google Search

The difference between the results generated by Google and those generated by Bing are striking. Google has examined the same search phrase and has inferred that the user wants to know more about sentence ambiguity. In light of this, Google has generated results which provide information on ambiguities in English instead of results which feature the duck animal.

As mentioned earlier in this article, this is huge!

The implications for content writers and content owners are significant. No longer can you just throw a few keywords into your articles, host a large number of these articles on your site and think that Google will send you to the top of the page ranking. This simply will not do! Those who create quality content – which properly addresses the concerns of the target market – are more likely to find themselves positioned at the top of the search results. This is what the Hummingbird brings to the table.

Google’s strategy with respect to its search algorithms is clear. The search engine giant is intent on doing what is required to ensure that its users are afforded with the most relevant search results based on the questions being asked. The focus is on generating quality content to the users. Accordingly, sites which have tried to trick the search engine by simply littering keywords on their pages are being penalized. And those sites which actually provide useful content are being rewarded.

The Panda and Penguin updates which have impacted more than a couple sites recently were simply the tip of the iceberg. It is my opinion that the Hummingbird and other similar algorithms are here to stay.

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