For the past few months, Google has made many major changes to its search engine algorithms and one among them is the new look for mobile search results. Even though the average Google user has not been able to notice much difference in the Enhanced Campaigns or Penguin 2.1 but it has attracted several debates by the search engine experts.
One of most debated topic was the Hummingbird, a search algorithm launched by Google on its 15th birthday. Google has updated its search algorithm even in the past, but each time they were focused on gathering the information for the search engine, for instance – indexing the website and identifying the spam contents. But now with the launch of Hummingbird, the focus is on the user; understanding his/her requirements and providing the user with better search results.
With the introduction of Hummingbird, Google is now examining the searcher’s query as a whole and processing the meaning behind it. This implies a shift in the results displayed for Google. It will extend its search beyond the individual keywords. Google will try to display relevant results which not only match the individual keywords but also the entire chain of words queried for. On the overall, Google has made search more ‘human-friendly’ and attempts to read the user’s mind.
One of the significant driving forces behind this change is the ‘mobile search’ especially with the advent of smart phones. Unlike desktop, the smart phone user tends to type short queries. However, the trend reverses with the voice search wherein the queries tend to be long, complex and more conversational. Google is also gearing up to provide the best voice search experience to its user.
The biggest benefactors of these improvements are the signed-in users who are trying for better search results. For them, Google is trying to gather all possible mediums to gather information like providing additional information pulled out from the user’s location, social connections like G+, time and even previous searches.
As mentioned in beginning, the ultimate driving force behind developing Hummingbird is to ensure Google is prepared for a future where its users interact with it constantly, quickly, and verbally. By making its search engine better, Google is paving the way for the future.
“Things, not strings” is what Matt Cutts said and this update provides much more context around Google’s decision to encrypt all keyword data and devalue purely keyword-focused search engine optimization. Its time to to move towards quality, social presence, link earning rather than link building.
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