What is Hummingbird?

Google has launched new search algorithm named as “Hummingbird” on occasion of its official 15th birthday, Sept 27 2013. The algorithm is designed for conversational or semantic search. Google claimed that “Hummingbird” algorithm can make use of more complex search requests and has a better understanding of the concept of human language, rather than a few scattered words. Hummingbird algorithm is landmark in internet history of search algorithm as it offers a more natural way to use its search engine. This is a big step forward in making searches more users friendly. Google vice president Mr. Amit Singhal said that this is the largest algorithm updated since Caffeine in 2010.

What is a search algorithm?

A technical word can be defined as the way or process of finding and collecting an item from collection of item in the structural way using predefine mathematical formula or procedure etc. The search result depends on query used to for searching and the methodology or mathematical formula used to implement it.

Google’s Penguin Vs Panda Vs Hummingbird

Panda was first released back in 2011. The purpose of Panda was (and still is) to identify sites with low quality or duplicate content, and to remove them from the upper-ranking spots on the search returns page. As such, Panda is basically a content quality filter
Penguin, which was released in 2012, takes a more aggressive stance against sites that intentionally utilize unlawful ‘black-hat’ techniques. A penguin is an update that is actively locating these sites and reduces their ranking accordingly. Companies whose sites are penalized by the Penguin need to turn away from their black-hat tactics and work to earn links organically
The most recent of Google’s algorithm updates, Hummingbird takes a step back from the idea of penalizing, and instead works toward improving search returns in general. By using a more complex understanding of human language, Hummingbird reduces Google’s dependency on keywords. Instead, it takes into account syntax, word order, and other possible variables in a search request.
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. The hummingbird is a brand new engine, though it continues to use some of the same parts of the old, like Penguin and Panda

Usage of device & Hummingbird

Google is also taking into consideration the device the searcher is using. Desktop queries are usually shorter, and are formatted as phrases. Queries coming from mobile phones are usually longer, in the form of a question, because people are saying those queries directly into their phones. Google analyzes the whole sentence now, determines the meaning behind it and produces the best answer with Hummingbird’s help.

How does Hummingbird work?

The hummingbird was designed to understand the user’s intent and provide the best possible results. In particular, Google said that Hummingbird is spending most interest to each phrase in a question, guaranteeing that the whole question — the whole phrase or discussion or significance — is taken into consideration, rather than particular conditions. The objective is that web pages related the significance do better, rather than web pages related just a few conditions.

First example,

Consider following search query sequence starting “Picture of Burj Khalifa building”, a return collection of picture of “Burj Kalifa” building. After that user decided to ask the next question “how tall is it” then return with answer 830m. Here query recognizes the word “it” referring to “Burj Khalifa” building.

Second example,

If user fire query “What is the closest place to purchase Samsung Galaxy Note” to my home? Traditional search might focus on word/keyword, most likely finding the pages with “purchase” and “Samsung Galaxy Note”. In case of hummingbird, as it pays more attention to each word in query ensuring that whole query at a time take into consideration. 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.

Third example,

Consider query, “orange vs apple juice”, it returns results with comparison with respect to different parameter like amount per, calories, vitamin etc.

SEO guidelines

1. Title of page

The hummingbird will change the way SEO title their pages. As hummingbird is designed to support organic search query rather keyword search pattern, users will profited by using a page title like “how to make pizza”.

2. Query
The SEO expert will have to implement how to answer the question pattern like What, How, When, Where, Why etc. Hummingbird is giving favor to sites that able answer those types of question instead of a rich set of keywords. This algorithm basically designed for conversation search queries.

3. Content strategy
In general there is a strong impact of in-depth, high quality content on SEO. Lengthy article, detailed content will help in ranking however it will challenge for mobile user as they less likely to read them all. Therefore, content writer should prefer the writing of short, precise, informative content.

4. Design strategy
The hummingbird will certainly take design into consideration. Recent statistics reveal that number of mobile users growing rapidly over the years. People prefer search query on smart phones and tablet more exclusively than a laptop or desktop. It will favor to site has a mobile responsive design.


1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Hummingbird
2. http://searchengineland.com/google-hummingbird-172816
3. http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4062650.html
4. http://www.copyblogger.com/google-hummingbird/
5. http://www.business2community.com/seo/menagerie-google-updates-panda-penguin-hummingbird-affect-business-0641019
6. http://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-hummingbird-means-content-strategy/74111/
7. http://emmettsmith.blogspot.in/2013/11/how-will-hummingbird-effect-seo.html


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