The newest algorithm to the search engine giant, Google Hummingbird, was put into place quite some time ago. We got the news recently as part of Google’s 15th birthday celebration. 15 years of Google – pretty impressive, isn’t it?
Before anyone panics, Hummingbird isn’t going to change much. Like its namesake, it’s unobtrusive, hard to pin down, and just makes things a bit nicer. In fact, Hummingbird’s focus is opposite that of Panda and Penguin. While previous algorithm updates focused on getting better information for Google, cutting down on spam, and decreasing the effectiveness of Black Hat SEO techniques, Google Hummingbird is centered on the user. How? Just look at some of Google’s patents for the new update.
- Synonym Identification Based on Co-Occuring Terms: Basically, the algorithm will be able to process queries by more than simple word-for-word evaluation. Rather, it can analyze intent by using stored data of words often used together.
- Evaluation of Substitute Terms: In a related field, the searches can analyze two different words often used together to identifyassociation and correlation.
Edit Distance for Queries: Analyzes the transition cost of switching from one query to another.
- Search Entitiy Transition Matrix and Applications of the Transition Matrix: Analyzes probable strength of relationship between entities and storing the information.
What these boil down to is a system that can more intuitively grasp what you’re looking for. How extensive is this edit? Basically, the whole search engine has been re-written, for the first time in 12 years.
Some of the new features include comparison searches, as well as new filters and more for the Knowledge Graph, plus a unification of features. Google’s plan
is to upgrade the experience to something almost like a conversation.
Why the big change, you ask? One of the driving forces is the increase in use of smart phones for searches, and particularly voice searches. When typing something in, you tend to be direct and to the point. When talking, though, queries become more complex in structure and sometimes more like a conversation. Therefore, Google tries to make your search experience as much like a conversation as possible (even if it’s like a conversation with a friend who has a mind like an encyclopedia).
So don’t panic about losing rankings to this newest algorithm animal. Your rankings are safe; the plan is for Hummingbird to just make Google a more enjoyable experience for the user.