Google Hummingbird Update – Silent Revelation with Strong Consequences

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.

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.

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  1. Hummingbird has certainly cleared off way lot of search results as I can observe.

    Around Two-Three search(blogspot) results above me got vanished from search after Hummingbird update. They had like most of re-worded stuff from sites likes Mashable, TC, TNW etc.

    Infact, my traffic and engagement on my blog increased by 61%.

  2. Hello,Chitraparna
    Thanks for sharing such post, i am new to this guest blogging section , so, my articles are not as good as yours , but one think your article will helps me , mainly the procedure. and one think i want to know from you ” the Google is updating regularly , what will we means the writer ‘s procedure to maintain our site traffic “?

  3. Hello Satish,
    its great to read about Hummingbird algorithm from your blog. Though the name of the update is hummingbird but it can change all the stats of your website traffic. I am of the feeling that this was just an official announcement from Google, Update was on board since August end as one of my blog fell victim of an anonymous update from Google about which they haven’t announced officially. Later I heard of the same from many of my blogosphere colleagues who were complaining about the traffic drop & felt that it was a secret update. Now they have announced about it officially, I am very much sure that it is the same update which ruined my previous blog. Though thank you very much for sharing this very informative article. keep sharing

  4. It’s going to change the face completely, Chitra if this update really start to match meaning rather thank keywords. I guess the conversion should be improved though the traffic dropped. So, it should be better, isn’t it?

    I suspect if this update was the reason for Google delay the PR update. Will it be anytime soon?

    • I guess so Suresh. PR is stuck for the last few months.

      If Hummingbird targets conversations rather than plain search queries, everyone needs to rethink their SEO strategies.

  5. I think that this new update was live since the past 1 month but Google announced it today. Well I also think that this new updates targeted keyword stuffing in articles not like ‘incoming search terms’ but possibly like “these are the specs of s4 and you can see galaxy s4 specs here and also stay tuned for more s4 specifications”. May be we get official update soon for this new Hummingbird .

  6. Hi Chitraparna

    Thanks for sharing details about new google algorithm update.
    But the key thing behind everything is that if you are strict with quality content then none of google update with hit you.

    people who take advantage from keyword stuffing, black hat seo will definitely be noticed and penalised.

    Thanks again..!

    • Dilpreet, this is by far the complete update available over the web. Google is not releasing any technical details as of now. The best way to understand the update will be to monitor your websites and the keyword/s they were ranking for…this is a serious update and needs to be taken seriously.

  7. Hummingbird Algorithm is going to play a effective role in matching user query with the information available in internet. So hereafter writing for the user query and matching our webpage with the user query will be more sustainable than simply writing it for updates or news. So in simple, Google has termed it to be, “Be for People and You will be With Us[Google]”

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