Google Hummingbird Update – What it Means for You and SEO

Google Hummingbird Update – What it Means for You and SEO

Companies large and small wait with bated breath whenever Google announces a change to their algorithms. However, the most recent of their updates, called Hummingbird, did not elicit any fanfare. The reason no one was talking about it was simple; Google rolled it out without telling anyone they were doing it. They discreetly updated their algorithms in September, and chances are, if you did not notice a difference in your rankings, you won’t in the future. Most people did not see any change, and that’s actually true of the last couple of updates too. If they’ve been using good, basic SEO principles, there has been nothing to cause any real worry.

Google Hummingbird Update

Even though the Hummingbird update did not necessitate that companies make any changes in their SEO strategies, it does not mean that the update didn’t do anything. On the contrary, it actually helps to make Google an even friendlier and more robust search engine.

What Does Hummingbird Do?

The search engine’s new algorithm makes it easier to handle the longer and more intricate search queries that people are entering. Today, many people enter more than just a couple of keywords. They enter actual interrogative sentences, and for a long time, it was difficult for Google and for other search engines to come up with the correct types of results in the search results. Hummingbird is “smarter” and is able to handle more of those other types of questions and provide natural and accurate results that really will help the visitor.

While this might seem simple from an outsider’s point of view, it really is a remarkable accomplishment. Google says this is the largest update they’ve made in years – ever since their Caffeine update.

How Does It Affect SEO

Of course, anyone who is running a business wants to know how much this will affect their site and their SEO work. Quite often, when Google announces these changes, the first thing that companies do is panic and fear they will lose their ranking. Most of the time, this doesn’t happen, but it is hard to maintain a cool head when all the talk is about what bad things Google can do to your site. Most of that is just myth though. As long as you aren’t using black hat SEO techniques, your site should be fine.

Fortunately, it does not appear as though it will require any drastic changes to the type of items and content most people have on their sites. In fact, it may actually be easier now for visitors to Google to find the exact type of content they want. Hopefully, this is the type of content that’s on your site since the search engine is able to parse real questions rather than just a string of keywords. As long as you are creating high quality, fresh content for your site, Hummingbird should have no ill affects for your site, and it might even help. Since it is still relatively new, it’s still too early to see the full effects.