In September 2013 Google announced the biggest update to its search algorithm in over a decade. The update is called Hummingbird and it is the third update in around 18 months after the Penguin and Panda updates. Although many sites felt the effects of Penguin and Panda, these two updates were just tweaks to an algorithm. However, the Hummingbird update was a major overhaul of the algorithm.
This update, like the ones before is aimed to improve the search results. So how is it going to do that? Hummingbird specifically focuses on semantics – which is the relationship between the words in the search. Therefore, Hummingbird will be paying more attention to each word in a search query, rather than just focusing on particular words. The aim is that the results match the meaning of the search rather than just a few words of the search.
So the principle is still the same; to produce high quality and regular content. But you may need to tweak your content in some ways. The update means Google is capable of understanding more detailed searches, so you may want to focus on more specific topics. Rather than writing about “the best mobile phones” you might write about the “the best mobile phones for business executives”. You can also vary your keywords as Google can now substitute a keyword, based on its understanding of the search, so an example of this could be substituting the term “GAA jersey” for “gaelic jersey”.
Although Google only announced the changes in September the changes have been in place since August. So if you have seen a major change in the traffic visiting your website since then it may be time to look deeper into the Hummingbird changes.
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Filed under: Google Tagged: google, google humminbird, google update, hummingbird