Google, a few days ago, celebrated 15 years of fruitful and innovative service to the online community. And as a happy birthday package, the giant of online search has launched a major update of its search engine algorithm – code-named Hummingbird. This is the biggest update since the Caffeine update of early 2010 and according to Google this update is to affect about 90% of all searches!
Though the Hummingbird update was released about a month ago Google waited till when it celebrated its 15th birthday to make the news public. To make the event a memorable one the announcement was made during a press event in the garage of the Menlo Park (Calif.) house where it all started some 15 years ago.
No doubt, Google has been a major player in the search engine business since the internet started and through these years Google has championed a number of innovations helping to improve how people use the search engines. However, it does appear that we will be seeing more in the days ahead as hinted by Amit Singhal in his official blog post:
“15 years on, we’re just getting started. We want to help you make more of each day.
“We’ll keep improving Google Search so it does a little bit more of the hard work for you. This means giving you the best possible answers, making it easy to have a conversation and helping out before you even have to ask. Hopefully, we’ll save you a few minutes of hassle each day. So keep asking Google tougher questions—it keeps us on our toes! After all, we’re just getting started.”
So, What Is In The New Search Engine Algorithm Update?
Designed with the changing usage of search in mind, Google says Hummingbird have 200 different ingredients and will be able to handle complex search queries. For example, Google claims that Hummingbird is designed to serve better search results with queries that have context attached to them as it would automatically attach th
e context – time, location, contacts among others – to search queries in order to make the results more meaningful to individual users.
Demonstrating this, a Google
executive showed off a voice search through her mobile phone, asking for pictures of the Eiffel Tower. After the pictures appeared, she then asked how tall it was. After Google correctly spoke back the correct answer, she then asked “show me pictures of the construction” – at which point a list of images appeared.
Truly impressive one would say but,
Where Do Content Publishers Like Us Come In?
If this update affects 90 percent of search results, as indicated by Google, then this is one of the major algorithm overhaul by Google. Though we cannot say what the impact of this will be for content publishers in the days to come we can be assured that search engine optimization is not going to be the same again.
This is more worrisome knowing that Google recently started encrypting search results across board except for paid searches. Though Google explained this is in response to the issues of online privacy, there are already speculations that Google is actually doing this for economic reasons – wanting more people to use Google Adwords!
For now we just need to keep our fingers crossed and watch things unfold. But no matter the changes, ranking our sites to drive organic search traffic can not be totally taken away!
If you consider carefully Google’s statement:
“The key focus of the new `Hummingbird’ algorithm is on ranking information on the basis of a more intelligent understanding of search requests,”
you’ll definitely get some insight into what to focus on the coming days.
Please note: Why the previous Caffeine algorithm change was chiefly about better indexing of websites this one is about “ranking information on the basis of a more intelligent understanding of search requests!”
So, what do you think will be Google’s next move? Do you think the Hummingbird algorithm update will turn out to be the death of SEO as many have always said?