What is Hummingbird?
Contrary to the perceived belief that Hummingbird is an algorithm update, many are incredulous at the news that it is actually a “new” algorithm. It represents a big change that has gone relatively unnoticed.
How does it differ from the old algorithm?
In reality it retains many of the features of the old rules such as weights, filters and systems of the old algorithm. Some experts describe it as an evolution of Google’s Caffeine, designed primarily to attract fresher results. Hummingbird is intended to be precise and fast – thus its name.
What aspects of SEO will it affect most?
Hummingbird appears to be aimed at improving results or more correctly supplying more precise answers to user queries, particularly for longer search phrases – more commonly known as “Semantic Search” The key for Google is understanding the user’s intent as opposed to the keywords being used. Coincidentally the new algorithm appears at the same time as Googles “reduced keyword referral data” denoting the reduced importance of keywords in Voice Search. Another change is the move towards supporting greater interaction with people and making the search process more human.
How does it reflect on Mobile SEO?
It would appear that Hummingbird is very mindful of the growing complications of search queries with mobile devices. It puts the emphasis on answers more than results and is clearly designed to facilitate the increasing use of search on such devices. It attaches a special importance to conversational search on mobile devices and takes cognisance of the way we now interact with Google across mobile technologies such as 4G, Voice Search and Google Glass. Hummingbird expresses the need for much more targeted and precise search results and the algorithm facilitates that by working more proficiently in mobile environments.
Have any real changes been noticeable since the very recent introduction of “Hummingbird?”
The expert SEO fraternity have concluded to date that “Hummingbird” is based on links like the old system , but to a slightly lesser degree. There is a clear continuing trend towards rewarding unique content and penalising thin content that depends too heavily on link building. Key Opinion leaders who offer fresh content are also rewarded. The changes incurred seem to point towards the importance of quality user experience with a slight downgrading of link value.
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