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.
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.
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.