Have you noticed any significant changes on your website/s traffic?
Has the traffic increased or plummeted?
Whatever your answer is, blame it on the recent Google update secretly released on the eve of its official birthday, 27 September, 2013.
This is known as the Google Hummingbird update.
What is the Google Hummingbird Update?
The Google’s senior VP, Amit Singhal, says that this update is the culmination of the last 15 years of work and one of the biggest since the 2009 – 2010 Caffeine update. He says:
Our algorithm had to go through some fundamental rethinking of how we are going to keep our results relevant (source).
They have significantly altered the core algorithm over the past one month; the new algorithm will impact the current search queries to at least 90 percent of the websites (source).
The idea behind the update is to handle more complex search queries. Google realizes that over the years people have moved on from one or two word queries to a long string of query, and the Google Hummingbird update is equipped to handle this trend of global search. As Search Engine Watch mentions, the Hummingbird update is “better at understanding concepts, relationships between concepts, and more complex questions.”
In other words, long-tailed queries from users will get better and accurate results with the Google Hummingbird update.
The Techcrunch report explains the update in the following manner:
The main focus, and something that went repeated many a time, was that the new algorithm allows Google to more quickly parse full questions (as opposed to parsing searches word-by-word), and to identify and rank answers to those questions from the content they’ve indexed.
As usual, Google hasn’t divulged any technical detail about the update yet.
The Google Hummingbird update hasn’t raised any outcry so far, which is unlike the ruckus that followed the Caffeine update. However, it can be assumed that webmasters all over the world are busy analyzing how the update is or will affect their website/s rankings and traffic, and then speak out.
Till then, watch out this space for more.