Google’s Hummingbird update is a search algorithm that Google claims will yield better results. It is called “Hummingbird” because it is precise and fast, according to Google. This name was implemented around the 30th of August, 2013. Hummingbird is a new engine based on new and existing parts. With this new update, the search engine will drive to focus on the entire structure of the sentence that is being searched rather than just particular words and where they might happen to show up on the billions of pages on the internet. If you have shared your home location with Google, this new update will better understand the actual location of your home and the results shown will reflect this. Google Hummingbird places a higher emphasis on the actual page content of a website making search results much more relevant to the user. It distills long, conversational phrases to short and intent-driven ones. Keyword search data has all but been eliminated because this new update “gets” the user’s search requirements by looking at the subject, intent, and context of the search.
The Impact on Websites: Good or Bad?
Hummingbird has affected websites in both a negative and positive aspect. On the negative side, some websites are getting less hits because the algorithm has changed. By taking into consideration the intent of the entire phrase instead of just searching for key words, this pulls up a much more concise database search and often will answer the user’s question without ever clicking on a link. This is reducing the amount of hits and traffic a page may receive.
In a positive aspect, however, this could open many doors for individuality and creativity of a company creating an incentive for smaller pages to gain exposure. Websites have to be more specific within the content of their pages now rather than using broad keystrokes. Albeit a scary change for online webpages, this could be an opportunity to improve their own pages and allow for a much more specific audience with longer hits.
Have you noticed a drop in your organic search results recently? Let Yael Consulting take a look and help you improve your online visibility.