Google’s New Algorithm is Hummingbird

On September 27th, Google celebrated its 15th birthday by launching a new algorithm. According to Google, the Hummingbird offers a more natural way for the search engines to interact with users and provide a more direct answer.  The algorithm is based on semantic search with emphasis on user intent instead of individual search terms. Unlike Google’s Penguin and Panda updates to its existing algorithm, Hummingbird is a complete replacement.

Google Garage
Credit: Danny Sullivan Searchengineland

Google Garage, where it all started

Why is it called Hummingbird?

Google said that the name come from being precise and fast.

Google Senior Vice President and head of Google Search, Amit Singhal said that this is the largest algorithm update in three years, the last update was three years before the “caffeine plan.”

When did Hummingbird start? September?

According to Google, they started using Hummingbird about a month ago. Google only announced the change on its birthday.

Google Search Timeline
Credit: Inside Search, The Official Google Search blog

Google Search Timeline

What about all these Penguin, Panda and other “updates” — haven’t those been changes to the algorithm?

Panda, Penguin and other updates were changes to parts of the old algorithm, but not an entire replacement of the whole. Think of it again like an engine. Those things were as if the engine received a new oil filter or had an improved pump put in. Hummingbird is a brand new engine, though it continues to use some of the same parts of the old, like Penguin and Panda  -Source: Searchengineland Hummingbird FAQ.

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. -Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land explained.


Google Hummingbird

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