Google Hummingbird update

Google has a new search algorithm…the system it uses to sort through all the information it has when you search and come back with answers. It’s called “Hummingbird” and if you have a website and want to be found by Google, you need to learn more about it.

The basic way Google searches and ranks websites is called their “search algorithm”. In the past, Google has updated the importance of some factors in their algorithm. However, now Google has changed the basic “engine” altogether. Think of an algorithm as a recipe Google uses to sort through  billions of web pages and information it has to deliver what it considers to be the “best results”.

Google looks at more than 200 different “ingredients” to determine the ranking for specific keyword phrases. View infograph on some of these factors.

Hummingbird is different in that it is better at focusing on the meaning behind the words that people type in a search.  “Conversational search” is one of the biggest examples Google gave. People, when speaking searches, may find it more useful to have a conversation.

“What’s the closest place to buy the iPhone 5s to my home?” A traditional search engine might focus on finding matches for words — finding a page that says “buy” and “iPhone 5s,” for example.

It may better understand the actual location of your home, if you’ve shared that with Google. It might understand that “place” means you want a brick-and-mortar store. It might get that “iPhone 5s” is a particular type of electronic device carried by certain stores. Knowing all these meanings may help Google go beyond just finding pages with matching words.

In particular, Google said that Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.

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