Tarun Gupta

Google Hummingbird Algorithm Update: Total Recall

Tarun Gupta December 6th, 2017 Search Engine Optimization no comments.

google hummingbird update

In last post we had discussed how Google’s Panda update revolutionized the search algorithms and tamed the spam. In this episode, our talk would be around Google’s Hummingbird update that the search engine giant rolled out years back. The update influenced how users respond and engage with search results.


Revisiting Google Hummingbird Update

Notably, Google Hummingbird was a significant advancement that reportedly impacted 90 percent of searches worldwide. Following are the major components Hummingbird aimed at:

1. Conversational Search:

With Hummingbird, Google brought in natural language processing. It helped search results to generate niche results for queries both at the head and long-tail level. As it majorly focused at user intent in a semantic manner, the algorithm allowed users the ability to confidently search for topics and sub-topics.

2. Human Search:

Google launched Hummingbird to address the most common problem searchers faced at that time. The problem was about searchers’ inability to find right results if their knowledge of a particular subject was lacking. Hummingbird arrived with the solution that solved this by focusing on synonyms and theme-related topics.


By allowing people to access curated and most precise results that they looked at, Hummingbird helped Google move one step closer to more engaging search results.

3. Introduction of Voice Search:

Since Hummingbird emphasized more on used context and intent to deliver results as per user needs, local results started becoming more precis, by combining conversational language processing human intent based on location data, Hummingbird turned idea of semantic search into a reality.

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4. Enhancements in Local Search:

Natural language processing was the USP behind Hummingbird update. It takes into account how humans think, desire, and use search engines to find what they’re looking. That hit at the spam practices of stuffing a page with keywords and fake business names. Eventually, it was a significant change that pushed the idea of using more words in the dictionary, outlining Who/What/Why/Where/How, the way most of us do.


The conclusion:

With Hummingbird, Google attempted to bring a 360 degree change in the way users used to engage with the search results. At that time, Hummingbird update happened to be the biggest game-changing move that Google had made.


However, the update didn’t shock SERPs like its Panda and Penguin did. Though, neither had it offered a data-linked approach to provide trusted results for queries, nor was the first major step in improving the indexation of information, Hummingbird indeed offered a major overhaul of Google’s core algorithm.


With Hummingbird, Google shifted a bit of its focus on serving results that cater to the human side of user intent across both head-level and long-tail queries. And now, when Google is seen filtering topics that serve intents like- Do/Know/Go, Hummingbird deserves the credit.