Google unleashes the Hummingbird

We’ve already had the Panda and the Penguin, but last month Google celebrated its 15th Birthday with – wait for it – more changes. At a press conference last week the launch of Hummingbird, a new search algorithm was the latest hot topic of the search engine giants. The new algorithm, which has already been live on Google.com for over 30 days, has sent shock waves through the online marketing world.

So, what does it mean?

One thing Google says is it makes it quicker and easier for their users to access answers to questions and search queries. “You can pull up your phone and say to Google: ‘Tell me about Impressionist artists.’ You’ll see who the artists are, and you can dive in to learn more about each of them and explore their most famous works,” says Amit Singhal, senior vice president of Google Search.

According to Google, this new search algorithm is super clever.   It will give answers to questions, filter the answers, and give comparison data, at a glance without you having to scroll through web pages.

Hummingbird’s aim is to give informed answers to queries at a glance, making searching even easier. Using this streamlining algorithm, users will spend longer on Google search pages, optimising publicity to Google ads – which will lead to improved ad exposure, and ultimately more sales for online marketers. In keeping with improving search experience for mobile users, Hummingbird is optimised for mobile users.

“It’s cleaner and simpler, optimized for touch, with results clustered on cards so you can focus on the answers you’re looking for,” says Singhal.

“Google will keep reinventing itself to give you all you need for a simple and intuitive experience. At some point, pulling out a Smartphone to do a search will feel as archaic as a dial-up modem.”

Although still not a lot is known about Hummingbird among the general public at present, Google states that it has already affected 90% of searches worldwide. The algorithm not only impacts on search quality, but focuses on data retrieval, artificial intelligence, and how data is accessed and presented. “With more complex queries, the algorithm can better understand concepts vs. words as well as relationships between concepts.”