Google Hummingbird – Introduction
Search engines are not static and unchanging. Instead, the people behind search engines are making constant improvements, thus providing their user bases with ever-increasing usefulness. Sometimes, these changes are small and subtle, but other times, they are extremely noticeable, with Google Hummingbird being a particularly excellent example of the latter.
First and foremost, Google Hummingbird is a search algorithm that started seeing use on August 30 of 2013, though its use was not announced until September 26, which happened to the eve of the corporation’s 15th anniversary. In part, it stood out because it was the first Google update of its kind since 2001. However, it should be noted that its most striking attribute was its significance for SEO, which is something that should interest bloggers as well as other people with websites of their own.
What Does Google Hummingbird Do
One of the goals for Google Hummingbird was to improve Google’s use of synonyms. By making sure that their search algorithms could recognize synonyms for the separate words contained in search phrases, the people behind Google made it possible for their search engine to return relevant results even when there were no perfect matches for them, thus sparing their users the need to rephrase their search phrases again to again in order to come up with something worthwhile. With that said, it is important to note that Google could recognize Synonyms even before the update, meaning that it was not a new innovation but rather a refinement of existing capabilities.
Instead, the other goal of Google Hummingbird is the much more interesting one. In short, it is meant to implement something called semantic search, which enables the search engine to understand the context of a search phrase, which means paying as much attention to the whole of the search phrase as the separate words contained in the search phrase. For example, when someone submits a search phrase along the lines of, “When was the moon landing,” Google Hummingbird made it possible for Google to understand what was being asked so that it could bring up the appropriate answer of “July 16, 1969 – July 24, 1969” as well as a list of relevant websites instead of a list of websites that match the separate words contained in the search phrase. In other words, Google became capable of understanding the “Why” as well as the “What” of search phrases, which in turn, made it capable of providing better service to its users than ever before by interpreting their needs so as to fulfill them in a more efficient and effective manner.
What Does Google Hummingbird Mean For Bloggers
In truth, Google Hummingbird introduced no real upsets to the practice of SEO. However, it raised the search result rankings of websites with natural content, thus increasing the importance of SEO that focuses on appealing to the users relative to SEO that focuses on appealing to the search algorithms. In this manner, Google made its search engine more useful to Google users by bringing up a higher percentage of useful websites compared to not so useful websites that had been created to maximize their search result rankings through the use of crude and in some cases, outright unethical methods.
However, Google Hummingbird is most interesting in that it signaled the start of a series of changes that promoted natural content at the expense of unnatural and sometimes semi-nonsensical content that had been optimized, Content Optimization, for a cold machine without a real understanding of what it was supposed to interpret. For example, Google announced the existence of RankBrain on October 26 of 2015, though it had been incorporated into Google Hummingbird for some months by the time of the announcement. As a machine learning system, it is capable of learning on its own in spite of falling short of being classified as a true AI, which is appropriate since it seems to be tasked with interpreting the meaning of the search phrases submitted to the search engine. Given that RankBrain has become one of the most important factors used to determine a particular website’s search result rankings, it seems that it has found considerable success in its appointed task, which has some rather important implications for bloggers as well as other website owners.
In short, the better that Google’s search algorithm becomes at understanding information, the better it becomes at picking out useful and interesting content for the convenience of Google users. Since Google is the single biggest search engine on the planet, this means that website owners should make the appropriate changes to their SEO strategies, particularly since all search engines can be expected to continue moving in this direction as new techniques and technologies continue to be introduced. After all, they stand to benefit by becoming more and more useful to their users while also making it harder and harder for website owners to game their systems.
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