Until a couple of weeks ago, if someone mentioned Google Hummingbird, you’d be excused for thinking you’d been asked to do an online search for the famous London bakery.
That was before the world’s most popular search engine released news of a major overhaul to the way it works.
But what is Google Hummingbird?
If you’ve been paying attention to the string of recent search algorithm updates, Hummingbird simply feels like a natural progression. Google made it clear with Penguin and Panda, that sites engaging in ‘black hat’ web spam, link schemes, keyword stuffing and generally violating their Content Quality Guidelines would be penalised.
They were good to their word and we saw sites from globally recognised brands to small, individual blogs having their Page Rank stripped and disappearing from search results overnight.
Bloggers thought it wouldn’t happen to them, but it did, it is.
Google might not be the law but if you use their services, (gmail, YouTube, Google+, Blogger, Google Analytics and even Google Search) you have agreed to abide by their t&c’s.
Hello Google Hummingbird, Goodbye Keywords
Maybe it’s coincidence, (my theory says not) but shortly before the Hummingbird news broke, Google announced that they are taking an ‘accelerated approach’ towards encrypted search results.
It’s adios to keyword targeting and hola to an open playing field that’s controlled by good, quality, original content and not by global brands with huge budgets.
Search has become semantic, personal, interesting, un-predictable even. It’s not enough to have a keyword dense, beautifully designed, semi-static website. To be classed as an authority in your own field by Hummingbird 2013, you need to be creating consistently good, relevant, content and delivering it via a unified, cross-platform, social / brand presence.
If you would like to understand How Search Works, have a look at Inside Search from Google.