Happy birthday Google! Of course Google could not celebrate its 15th birthday without a major change to the way we find things online. As a SEO analyst for an integrated marketing agency in Phoenix and Los Angeles, I see it as we are the ones receiving the birthday present. Google is calling it Hummingbird, a substantial change to their search algorithm to handle more complicated queries.
If you’re a SEO specialist or an integrated marketing agency and were not prepared for this, don’t fret – not many were. The Hummingbird search algorithm update was already implemented weeks ago. Google is tight-lipped about what specific changes come along with Hummingbird, but so far no word from the SEO world on any websites experiencing a major change to traffic. What we do know is that this is in response to a changing landscape of search engines queries where users are asking more complex questions.The new search engine optimization landscape should benefit the users who use voice searches on their mobile devices especially. Google expects their search engines to understand the meaning behind a search faster and with more precision. A user might ask “where is the best sushi restaurant?” The older algorithm would run the search word-for-word, like “best” “sushi” and “restaurant,” but now the new online search engine by Google is expected to search the sentence as a whole instead of matching a few words to a webpage. The new SEO standard will help integrated marketing as well as the consumer connect to what they are really looking for. A big win for everyone. While there were the occasional algorithm updates like “Panda” and “Penguin,” Google has not had this kind of change to their search engine since their 2010 “Caffeine” overhaul. SEO-wise, Google states there is not a real change happening except noting the key is to continue putting out unique and quality content. So the jury is still out on how much affect this will have on organic search rankings and time will tell.