Insight Into Google’s Humming Bird Update

Here is the Humming Bird Update Explained

This algorithm update is not major, so long as you understand the direction google search result pages have been heading for quite some time. See below, as this change was something I predicted two months before it was announced in September of 2013. (Here’s an old draft of a blog containing this prediction prior to SEO Shrugged going live.)

predicted google's humming bird update cort tafoya

Keywords are becoming less important – though still a significant factor. Humming Bird is an update to Google’s algorithm that puts more emphasis on the semantics of a search query.

In this way, Google better understands what people are searching for even when they don’t type specifically or exactly what they mean. The article below explains Humming Bird’s update, but I feel it also makes a bigger deal out of it than it should.

From Wired:

“Rather than just examining each individual word in a search, Google is now examining the searcher’s query as a whole and processing the meaning behind it. Previously, Google (and most other search engines) used more of a “brute force” approach of looking at the individual words in a search and returning results that matched those words individually and as a whole.”

If you Google “world’s largest ocean” the top three results are articles about the Pacific Ocean. Google is in a sense answering your query without matching text. It’s being intuitive.

One day, the top 7 results will all be about the Pacific Ocean, and at that point Google will know you better than you know yourself.  (The other three results will be paid ads of course.)

If you’re implementing SEO, keep doing what you do as it will always help your web pages and articles rank higher.

Just understand that for every SERP, the links that get clicks are essentially acquiring votes of confidence and will move up in the rankings. Users are not looking for the parts of the link/meta description highlighted in bold by Google. They’re not looking for keywords, while Google still is. Instead searchers are reading the meaning of titles, urls and meta descriptions and deciding which web pages are really what they’re looking for.

Humming Bird is just Google’s way of being more human. It’s understanding that for some search queries, we’re looking for an answer not an exact text match. 

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One comment on “Insight Into Google’s Humming Bird Update

[…] SEO is changing – some say rapidly, but I say it’s heading in one direction and the algorithm changes are all a part of Google’s journey toward making search result pages less reliant on keywords and more so on quality content. The algorithm is also being tweaked heavily to better understand the semantics of a search query, as people don’t always type exactly what they’re looking for. […]

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