Happy Birthday Google – here’s Hummingbird. Google announced on September 26th, it’s 15th birthday that they had given themselves, and you a present, Hummingbird.
What is Hummingbird you ask? It is a complete replacement of the search algorithm Google uses to process queries and searches, and return relevant results. This is the first time since 2001 that Google has had such a major change to it’s core engine and code.
With the old search engines, there were patches such as “Caffeine”, “Penguin”, and “Panda” that helped keep things moving along, but now those patches in the true sense are gone. Google has no doubt incorporated the very best of the patches into the new algorithm and will continue to cut down on internet spam and return quality, relevant results.
So what does Hummingbird really do? According to Google it will focuses on the meaning behind the words, or the whole query string and return more targeted, personalized, relevant results. Google also promises fast, and precise results. In addition Hummingbird will help drive “conversational search”. This type of search is accomplished when speaking queries into your phone, tablet or computer. Google wants to have a conversation with you to better understand what it is you are looking for.
What does this mean for SEO? As long as you are using properly coded websites, responsive web design, and delivering high quality original content, then you are will continue to reap the benefits from those efforts. Unlike Panda, and Penguin, Hummingbird is about speed, and great results, it is not a spam blocker, but it does inherently come with Penguin and Panda baked in.
When does Hummingbird go live? According to Google, Hummingbird has been in use for over a month now. This is excellent news for digital markerters and web site owners alike. If you are still seeing high rankings then you are doing everything exactly as you should.