What is Google Hummingbird and how it affects you?

Google just turned 15 and gave us a brand new present, the Hummingbird update. This is Google largest search algorithm update since 2001 and is intended to make search more natural and fast! The biggest change in search Algorithm since 2001, Hummingbird is meant to make Google search better, but what does this mean for businesses advertising on Google? lets find out


What is the Hummingbird Update?

The Hummingbird update is meant to revolutionize the way people search on Google. Calling it “Conversational Search” it focuses on the increasing number of people speaking their searches in smart phones instead of the conventional keyword search. As searches are becoming longer and more specific, this update results that are on point in a fast manner. According to Amit Singhal, Google’s senior VP of search, Hummingbird is the largest Google algorithm update in the last 3 years. The last big update (though not as big as this) was the Caffeine update which was in 2010. Rankings in the past have been around keywords searches, such as a search for ‘Web Design‘, now, with more people searching for, ‘Best Web Designers in Mumbai’ it levels the playing field as the company with the generic results will be pushed out for more localized and specific search returns.


How does this Affect your business?

To make the most of the this update, businesses will now have to put themselves in the customers shoes and think how searches are made in reality. According to Google nothing changes from an SEO point of view, but opens new frontiers as new search terms are also considered in ranking of sites. The usual, high quality and relevant content will still rule the rankings.

As this update encourages more writing, business who carefully track their visitor searches will be able to benefit greatly from this. For example, if your page content can answer the above question ‘Where can I find the best price on an iPhone’ this update should ideally do wonders you.


Search content on Search Pages

One of the other key changes with Hummingbird is search content displayed right on search pages. This is one of those grey areas about this update with Google now displaying some information on the results page itself, it could potentially have a huge impact on a few. For instance: If a visitor searches for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, he would ideally find a bunch of websites with information on the movie. Post the update, you will notice the right hand corner of the results page will have basic details about the movie like actors, ratings, year of release and so on. This creates a great user experience for sure, but creates a ‘no further clicks needed’ scenario where sites serving this information are loosing out on traffic. For sites that generate revenue via ads this could mean a potential drop in their earnings.

With all these changes the only way to survive is to adapt. We can assure this is isn’t the first update from Google and wont be the last. New things will come, some threatening and some rewarding. The key is to keep your eyes peeled.

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