A New Google Algorithm: What Does This Mean?

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“Hummingbird” is a new search algorithm Google has recently implemented. The search engine uses this to sift through vast amounts of information when you search for something. A search algorithm is the protocol Google users to go through billions of different web pages and information. The aim is to provide the best results to users.


According to Google, the “Hummingbird” algorithm should allow the search engine to give better results each time. The “PageRank” algorithm is part of this new one, and is in fact an ingredient. So links to a page are still important. Other factors include quality, the words which appear on a web page, and the many other things considered crucial for SEO success.


The new algorithm has been described by Google as precise and fast, hence its namesake. “Hummingbird” in fact is a revamping of the entire search function, like if an engine is switched in a car. A complete rewrite of its algorithm occurred in 2001, according to Google search chief Amit Singhal. An update in 2010 reflected this type of strategy; this was called the “Caffeine Update” and changed how the search engine gathered information as opposed to just sorting through it.


Google’s recent changes are different from Panda and Penguin, among other updates because the whole algorithm has been replaced, although some components of the old one remain. People can now search in the context of a conversation. Word meanings are now understood and searches can be conducted based on one’s location or destination, useful for shopping, for example. Instead of just matching words, Google can now look at an entire query.


While no official “before-and-after” results are available, Google says it has seen improvements. Users may find more specific information during searches, and so far nobody has complained about any declines in performance. Since people complain if anything gets worse and often don’t say anything if they get better, the assumption is the algorithm change is effective.


As for SEO, Google has said no major changes are expected. High quality content is still important as are other marketing signals. Website traffic has not been affected in the past month, as there hasn’t been a wide-scale outcry from publishers. The change, according to the search engine, is expected to improve queries, especially complex ones. If anyone lost traffic, they said it could be due to any number of other factors.


Amit Singhal and Ben Gomes have been talking about the changes, so media outlets have had a pretty good look into them. “Hummingbird” also conducts “entity search”, something which has been the focus of expert panels and marketing panels. This has something to do with how search engines can focus on word meanings. More information continues to come out of news releases and marketing shows.



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