So last week (27th September 2013) Google celebrated it’s 15th Birthday and it’s incredible to think at how far they have come in such a relatively small period of time. In typical Google fashion, to mark their birthday celebrations they have taken a step back to where it all literally began, by implementing the largest change to their search ranking algorithm in three years when it introduced “Caffine” in 2010. As with all updates of late, Google has chosen another quite cute, albeit not so fluffy mascot, naming the new update ‘Hummingbird’ which again seems to follow no logical pattern especially as this diminutive creature seems an ironic name for such a large update. Lets see what animal is next, we’re hoping for Google Hamster or perhaps a Google Lama.
So what does this mean for SEO’s and their clients?
Well The Hummingbird update is said to focus on Google’s Knowledge Graph – it’s encyclopaedia of around 570 million concepts and relationships, that allows Google’s search engine to anticipate the facts and figures you are looking for when querying a search term.
The update is also said to be targeted more towards more modern forms of search including Voice queries and analyses the sentence as a whole instead of a string of characters, an amazing feat for a computer program.
In order to explain the hummingbird update Google has also released a number of search queries it believes will be helped by the update including;
‘a search for “acid reflux prescription” pre-Hummingbird produced sites with lists of drugs, but now brings up search results with more information about acid reflux treatment in general.
‘a search for “pizza hut calories per slice” now links the answer directly from Pizza Hut.’
When looking at the examples above, it becomes clear that Google is becoming concerned about users turning more towards their apps when they are looking for specific information on services, an ecosystem that is eating into Googles estimated 53% dominance of online advertising coverage.
In order to remain dominant Google is now looking to provide users with the answers they are looking for, not just a list of the sites that they are likely to find an answer on. We aren’t entirely sure how this will affect online advertising and Digital marketing if users never have to visit your site, but it is an interesting direction for the company to take and possibly one that will keep Google at the forefront of online search for another 15 years.
Images created by Drawn in Digital Ltd 2013.
If you would like to use any of the Google Hummingbird images for your own website please link back to this page.