Original article wrutten by: Amy Gesenhues, Search Engine Land
On the eve of its 15th birthday last week, Google revealed a new search algorithm named Hummingbird. Designed to be more precise and provide faster query results, the algorithm is based on semantic search, focusing on user intent versus individual search terms.
As Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan explained in his FAQ: All About the New Google “Hummingbird” Algorithm:
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.
While the official Hummingbird announcement was made last week, most reports show it began rolling out a month ago. Unlike Google’s Penguin and Panda updates to its existing algorithm, Hummingbird is a complete replacement. Google’s search chief Amit Singhal told Danny Sullivan that Hummingbird represents the first time since 2001 a Google algorithm has been so dramatically rewritten.
Best estimates at the moment suggest that some 2.3% of search queries globally will be affected by the change.
So what does this mean for your website? Well here’s what leading experts suggest you need to focus on:
- Businesses must understand and adapt to semantic search and the knowledge graph
- Positioning yourself to be the provider of answers that people are seeking.
- Identify intent, needs and problems. Provide solutions and answers. Look at queries and what they really need. Give them what the people behind the queries want.