Google HummingbirdOn Google’s 15th birthday on September 26, 2013, they announced changes to their search experience and algorithm, code-named Hummingbird. For the local business community, the launch of this new algorithm came as a shock because it has already been live on for a month. Google noted some improvements to their Knowledge Graph, which they said makes it easier and faster for your potential customers or clients to obtain answers to their questions.

The purpose of Google’s new algorithm is to better provide answers by anticipating the information new prospects, customers and clients are looking for. In reality, by streamlining the algorithm, and improving complex search retrieval, Google is actually trying to keep users on its search-results pages for longer periods of time to expose to sponsored ads, and improve ad sales and revenue.

According to Google, the new search algorithm is smarter, can answer questions, filter answers, and better provide comparison data. Google has also redefined its mobile search results page so it’s simpler, optimized for touch, and provides better results clustered on convenient cards.

Enhancing the algorithm for artificial intelligence, semantic analysis, and improved understanding of language is critical for Google to fulfill their objective of increasing user time on a website to increase revenue. Another of their goals is to provide services to meet the enormous shift towards mobile search. Many people are using Google’s search engine on their mobile phones, so Google’s algorithm must be able to understand complex mobile queries.

A Foundation For Evolution

Hummingbird provides Google a solid foundation to evolve as mobile searches increase, and as finding information becomes more difficult. Hummingbird affects 90% of worldwide searches. The Internet community didn’t notice the recent change, because the algorithm doesn’t impact the quality of searches, but focuses on data retrieval, assessment, and presentation to users.

With increasingly complex queries, Hummingbird was designed to better understand concepts vs. words, and the relationships between concepts. Google recently launched more information on their “Knowledge Graph,” “Google Now,” and “Voice Search” as well.

Google Plus and Hummingbird

Hummingbird offers Google the ability to predict the intentions of users, and answer questions accordingly. Social Media Weekly Los Angeles 2013, a team from Google, discussed how Google Plus enhances the search experience. According to the team, Google Plus is the foundation for improvements to user search experience in the future.

As search continues to evolve as a more social experience, users are gaining more sophisticated knowledge in the use of mobile devices and social networks.  For Google, this means they must enhance their social platform experience to compete.

Some of the newest updates to Google Plus include:

  • Google Plus Communities
  • Auto Awesome and Enhanced Image Editing
  • Authorship in Search
  • Related Hashtags, and their appearance in Google Plus and Google Search
  • Hangouts on Air
  • Q&A for Hangouts on Air

How does Hummingbird connect with Google Plus?  

Hummingbird is a search engine built on existing and new parts, and designed to meet the search needs of users today. Hummingbird relies on link analysis—one of 200 ingredients used in today’s ranking sites. Penguin and Panda filer how the results are ranked. These filters will continue to be used in the Hummingbird engine.

While the engine appears the same, it’s much smarter, and more powerful than earlier ones. As marketers, we wonder what we need to do to adapt to this major change in Google searches? Google has encrypted keyword data, so online marketers and SEO companies can no longer track traffic by keywords.

Marketers Must Focus on Google Plus

Hummingbird is expected to increase content marketing and high quality link building, as well as a social layer to the search algorithm. If you’re joining Google Plus Communities and trying to create an audience, answer questions, use hash tags, and create video content—you’ll be partaking in the Social Search movement that Google’s promoting.

Marketers should focus on content marketing, high quality links, building authority, and offering solutions to peoples’ problems throughout relevant communities. In addition, it’s important to optimize your content for mobile use, and focus on NLP (natural language processing) and semantic analysis for keyword search, which should help increase your visibility with the Hummingbird algorithm.

Have questions on how Hummingbird could impact your Sydney business?   Contact Sydney Technology Solutions and we can put you in touch with the right people who you can speak with.  Call us at (02) 8212 4722 and email us at [email protected].