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Hummingbird and You

What is Hummingbird?

Google and other search engines, such as Bing, use complex algorithms to determine, rank, and display their search results.  These algorithms, most famously Google's Panda and Penguin, attempt to improve search results by getting rid of low quality results and spam.  However, Hummingbird is not an update. Instead, Google has developed an entirely new algorithm or set of scoring metrics. The primary goal of Hummingbird is to weed out non-relevant websites from Google's search results using semantic search. Semantic search was implemented to improve Google's search accuracy by understanding user intent and the context of the search query.

How Does Semantic Search Work?

Google's recent decision to render all keyword data "100% not provided" means that, moving forward SEO will focus less on keywords and more on the intention behind the search query.  Hummingbird will concentrate on providing  answers instead of data.


For example, a user may search Google for buy yoga mat Buffalo online. However, when speaking to a friend that same person would say Where is the closest place to buy a yoga mat? Traditionally, search engines focus on finding matches for keywords, such as "buy" and "yoga mat," whereas Hummingbird will attempt to provide the user with results that are actually the closet places to buy a yoga mat.

Other Implications

Even with the new Hummingbird algorithm in place, it's important not to jump to conclusions about the future of SEO. SEO is not dead. In fact, Google claims that there's nothing about Hummingbird that should cause concern for website owners, provided that you've followed their numerous recommendations to provide original, high-quality content and avoid practices that aim to scam the system.  


At the end of the day, the search signals that have been important in the past, remain important. Hummingbird simply allows Google to process the information in a more efficient manner.