Hummingbird the New Google Algorithm to Keep an Eye on

Returning to the garage to where the now, massive empire, began, Google held an event to take a look at how Google will change the way that mobile devices are a part of our lives.  To keep up with the ever-growing amounts of searchable data, Google has preemptively launched a faster and improved way to help search users shift through that data and actually return useable results.


With other algorithm releases and updates, users may have seen anywhere from 2%-40% of and impact on their searches, but with Hummingbird, users are seeing about a 90% impact and that’s only been in a month of active duty, according to Amit Singhal, the Sr. Vice President of Google Search.


This is just the beginning, according to Google.  Essentially, what Hummingbird is, is an advanced synonym replacement tool to take general user queries and return more specific results.  It’s done by assigning values to surrounding words around keywords.  One of the best examples given in the patent form refers to a user searching for “a flight on AA for a meeting”.


Hummingbird will take in that phrase and attempt to decipher the users real search intent.  The algorithm will take AA and attempt to put it into the correct context, as AA can also stand for Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as, American Airlines.


In the above example, using old algorithms, the search results may have returned flights for a business class flyer or local meeting times for AA.  By assigning values to the words, Hummingbird can then ascertain the best results.


Among some of the other gifts for users, Google Search turning 15 has brought us some advancement in voice features.  In other words, we’ll be looking at a much nicer Siri, as it’s been advertised in those heartwarming commercials on television.


A lot of what Google is presenting could be considered game changers across several fields.  But, as usual, SEO will feel it first and the most.


Bye to Organic Keyword Data

Is search security and user privacy more important than organic keyword data being available?  Google’s answer is yes.


While the change has occurred over the past two years, the fact is that eventually all keyword data will be unavailable and be put behind encrypted searches.  There are several reasons that Google may be doing this from user concerns about NSA invasions of privacy to just protecting their users.  Google did state that they are not doing it to assist Adwords or advertisers.


What’s next, what will be the next best solution for keyword data?  There’s always the option of connecting your Adwords account to your Webmaster Tools.


Then there’s also third party reporting tools, but Google may eventually either block those or even simpler, make the use of third party tools a violation of terms.


There has always been a benefit to combining the two tools in that the combination provides some insight into organic search performance and paid.  It also gives users a faster way to identify optimization opportunities ascertained from the performance of either.


While Google’s real reasons for this change may never really be known, it is clear that most of the speculation does point to the data being shielded is eating into Google profits in one way or another.  Some have even suggested that Google may eventually charge SEO companies for keyword data and that they are just putting the hurt on the competition.