Hummingbird: Google’s new search algorithm


Google launched its new search algorithm called Hummingbird at the end of September. Its main purpose is to improve precision and speed of searches, while providing answers to the users’ conversational searches (query that contains a question, for example: „Where can I buy the cheapest bike in Kralingen?”).

In detail „Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query – the whole sentence or conversation or meaning – is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.”  Basically Google tries to find out the intentions behind every query instead of only analyzing the keywords. The next example illustrates the difference between the results for searching “pizza hut calories per slice”. The old version would give this website as a result, which is not the official Pizza Hut.

prntscrn1

If we search with Hummingbird, Google’s new algorithm, however we will get direct information from Pizza Hut. The second version clearly has a better result both from a business and from a consumer perspective. The new algorithm enables companies to think about questions their customers could ask and to come up with as many queries as possible.

prntscrn2

On the other hand, Google not only changed the algorithm but it also integrated a new preview page to the right white blank side of its website. This means that if a user searches for a movie title it would give him or her results as usual, but on the right side it would also show an information box about the movie.  This is really convenient for the user, but extremely harmful for content providers such as IMDB, because Google simply copies their data. According to Mike Evans, owner of Boost Rank SEO “Basically, what Google is doing is trying to keep you on their properties as long as possible, instead of visiting a website for the information, Google makes the data readily available.

The question is what a business can do to avoid losing customers. Companies have to adapt to the new situation and they should try to create additional value which cannot be copied. “If they want to take your data, they do. As an Internet marketer, I’ve learned that’s just part of the game. You’ve got to adapt and roll with it” Evans said.

Sources:

http://searchengineland.com/google-hummingbird-172816

http://searchengineland.com/hummingbird-has-the-industry-flapping-its-wings-in-excitement-reactions-from-seo-experts-on-googles-new-algorithm-173030

http://mashable.com/2013/10/10/google-hummingbird-and-small-business/

Advertisements

5 responses to “Hummingbird: Google’s new search algorithm”

  1. babettevandinten says :

    In a way it is good that your entry results are now not effected by the big companies that now which keywords to use and that Google is actually focussing on getting you to the website that you actually need. As mentioned in the Telegraph this can actually increase the long tail effect, since now it is not about the companies that are the biggest, since semantic search results are not as predictable which could lead to the fact that users can actually get to niche websites when a user types in a specific search phrase.

    • babettevandinten says :

      In a way it is good that your entry results are now not affected by the big companies that know which keywords to use and that Google is actually focussing on getting you to the website that you actually need. As mentioned in the Telegraph this can actually increase the long tail effect, since now it is not about the companies that are the biggest, since semantic search results are not as predictable which could lead to the fact that users can actually get to niche websites when a user types in a specific search phrase.

      • 401042al says :

        I agree with you. This is a really good possibility for niche websites to specialize their search engine advertisements. Don’t you think that the new algorithm will lower the average CPC? The dramatically increased number of keywords will also increases the number of auctions. As a result advertisers with lower budget might be pushed towards specialized queries, while others with higher budget may spend less per click due to the decreased competition.

  2. evifuerte says :

    As you explained, this new preview box is indeed potentially harmful for content providers. However, I was thinking there may be a beneficial side to it as well. Sticking to the example, if I search for a certain movie title I still get the usual results, but in addition to that I now get the information preview box about the movie with content from IMDB. For people only searching for very basic information, say a rating in this case, this preview box could be sufficient and thus could indeed prevent the person from actually going to IMDB’s website. However, part of the people will probably be looking for more extensive information, and won’t those people be more tended to actually click on the IMDB link now instead of clicking on links from other search results? So that the preview page is at the same time a sort of free ‘advertising’ for IMDB and not just a threat?

    • 401042al says :

      You have a point here. I can imagine situations where the free advertisement can be useful especially for niche websites. However if Google gets the data from top ranked sites, previews would only decrease the time spent on the content provider’s website, but the ads won’t have huge effect on click through rates. In different cases it is possible that Google will use the data to inform the user about a product or service, for example about the price of a concert ticket, but it will forward the user to its own reservation service.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: