Towards the end of last week, on their 15th Birthday, Google revealed an algorithm update which they proclaim to be as revolutionary as the Caffeine update of 2010. This latest update, code name Hummingbird, has already been in effect for at least a month according to Google.
So what does this mean for SEO? Surely an update of this significance will require a radical rethink in how we market ourselves online?
Actually, no. The word from Google is to stay focused on high quality, original content and producing a great user experience.
Fundamentally, the algorithm focuses on how Google processes it’s data – rather than how it collects data or what it’s actually looking for (as it did in 2010). Simply, Google is still looking for the same criteria from websites but has changed the way it presents certain findings to a user’s search query.
The update itself includes “conversational search” enhancements which allow the search engine to better respond to how users define queries. This specifically relates to Google’s acknowledgement of mobile and voice searches.
What this means is that the search engine has become more intelligent and can essentialy understand more of a user’s search query in context and therefore provide more relevant and accurate results.
In addition, the Google Hummingbird update also included more features for Google’s Knowledge Graph (the results that provide information within the search listings – in our experience, most seen in the top right corner showing information pulled from Wikipedia). Knowledge Graph facts can now be displayed side-by-side as part of the new comparisons feature as well as being able to filter certain results.
We’re looking forward to seeing the new “touch optimised” design for mobile search as well as new iOS7 and cross-device features which were also announced.
Originally posted by Gareth Morgans, Herdl Marketing and Communications Agency. 29 September 2013.