What is Google Hummingbird?
Google has regularly added updated extensions to its search algorithm, the most notable of them being Penguin and Panda. The Hummingbird update is different from them in the sense that it is not an add-on but a new algorithm. With the addition of almost 200 factors to its interface, Google Hummingbird is set to provide users with a more mobile-friendly search experience.
The biggest highlight of the Hummingbird update was that it tried to pinpoint the intent behind the search queries. Before the Google Hummingbird update came into existence, searches were mostly focused on the keyword, and to get the desired results; one had to ask additional questions.
Today, Google Hummingbird provides a comprehensive answer. For example, in the earlier algorithms, a “Thai cuisine” search would give information about Thailand and food in general. With Hummingbird update, the first results you get are about the Thai cuisine eating joints near you.
Google Hummingbird Update Launch Date – August 20, 2013
Reason why Hummingbird Update was rolled out – Keyword stuffing & low quality content
How Hummingbird Update works
Hummingbird update helps Google to understand the search queries. This helps the searcher to get results as per one’s own intent. Even if the keywords (though they continue to be important) do not have an exact match to the query, Hummingbird update makes it possible for a page to rank for a query the searcher entered. In order to show relevant results to users, Google uses Latent semantic indexing, co-occurring terms and synonyms of natural languages.
Goals of the Google Hummingbird update
The Hummingbird update focused on three key areas for improved user-experience. Through verbal and audio-visual communication, it sources information from millions of databases and brings accurate results in seconds:
Google particularly emphasised upon this aspect of the update when they promoted it. Unlike the previous Google Algorithms, Hummingbird approaches the query as if it were conversing with the user. In other words, it focused on the contextual meaning and not merely the definition.
Human search implies that after the Hummingbird update, the search algorithms became more human-friendly. Ideal for local SEO service, it provides numerous localised answers for the user, depending on their query. At this point, one might be wondering what is local SEO? It is a marketing strategy which makes the local businesses more visible to the user if their content contains the right keywords.
You might be familiar with Google Assistant, which engages in a verbal conversation with us to answer our queries. It is one of the special features of the Hummingbird update, which shifted from keyword-based queries to conversational searches. Users can now speak in sentences, like in real-life interactions, and the Google Assistant will respond with an equally human response.
How to Overcome Hummingbird update
The best way to overcome the Hummingbird update is to keep abreast with the latest concepts & the type of keywords a user is looking for. Related searches, synonyms and co-occurring terms would help you to draft optimum content on your webpage. Even Google Related Searches and Google Autocomplete will help you to understand related queries a user is looking out for.
Google Hummingbird and Semantic Search
What is semantic search?
When search engines try to deliver results based on the connection between the words rather than providing literal answers for each keyword, it is called semantic search.
Explanation of semantic search
The features of Google Hummingbird mentioned above like voice search and conversational search are all based upon the concept of semantic search. Based on the first two search keywords, similar words are found to match the user’s query, and the results are accordingly displayed. The more the relevance of the content in terms of the semantic search, the higher the page’s ranking in search results.
Google Hummingbird and Knowledge Graph
What is the Knowledge Graph?
Knowledge Graph refers to Google’s database that it uses to provide accurate information in the search results.
Explanation of Knowledge Graph
When you search the biography of a personality, the first result shows her image followed by the name, birthday, death, education, and so on. This is the infobox curated by Google knowledge graph to provide the outlined basic information, which, when clicked, redirects to the informative web page. SEO services can make use of a knowledge graph to promote their web pages or help build a new knowledge graph for the Hummingbird update algorithm, designed for their target audience.
How Hummingbird Update Impacted Search results
Google search engine before the Hummingbird update:
The semantic search & Hummingbird update is developed & designed to function appropriately in natural language communication like us. It does not understand keywords by keyword but helps in a relevant understanding of the searcher. Hence, proving itself also again very much useful in the times of ‘voice search’. Picking the intent of the searcher, understanding the meaning & delivering what exactly one needs.
Hummingbird update has also proved to be useful for local searches for SEO. This would help & give the user exactly the place one wants to visit, rather than matching keywords & giving irrelevant results of various unwanted places leading to confusion.
Hummingbird update is not seen as a recovery for SEO, instead it is an opportunity for the future!
The practical part here would be the website owners understand the user intent & set their website on the basis of natural language. Hence, helping the Hummingbird updated to get the semantic intent helping the user with what would be the next relatable query. In short, the update is bridging the gap between the searchers intent & the query posed. Thus avoiding irrelevant results & spammy content.
Now when you see your content matching the searchers intent, there is a total opportunity for you to rank well organically & locally, or also to get a place in the featured snippet, the knowledge panel & the answer box. As for the SEO experts today it is a priority to serve results as per user intent with the entry of voice search on demand. The correct combination of keywords along with proper research, competitor analysis, leading to a query that should relate to the audience intent to gain visibility & the top-ranking position in Google SERP.
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