Google Hummingbird Changes the Landscape of 2013 SEO


A brand new species has entered Google’s digital zoo of search algorithms: the Hummingbird. This exotic new algorithm now resides inside the Google Zoo with Panda and Penguin. By naming its new algorithms after animals, Google certainly makes them more appealing to the average web user. However, the real interest in the Hummingbird announcement should come from those with a vested interest in Google search results.

90 Per Cent of Search Results Affected

Whether you are a blogger, webmaster, digital professional or own your own website, Google Hummingbird is of major significance. To surmise, it has already altered the way that search requests are interpreted. And despite only being announced on Thursday, Hummingbird is said to currently affect 90 per cent of search results. Oh, and Hummingbird has nearly been active for an entire month, flying entirely under the radar.

Search Relevance Increased Dramatically

The difference between pre- and post-Hummingbird searches is set to be considerable. Google now has the power to understand complex questions when entered as search queries. Hummingbird is an algorithm that allows for questions to be parsed in their entirety, as opposed to the older approach of breaking them into single words. Relevance will now be greater than ever, all thanks to an algorithm that can understand your questions fully.

A Precursor to Voice Searches

Google has described the new algorithm as the biggest change to search engine results in three years. The promised complexity of Hummingbird appears to be a form of preparation for voice searches. These will primarily take places on smartphones and wearable technology, so expect Google Glass to incorporate this feature.

What Does it Mean for My Website?

Well, it means that you need to improve the quality of your content. Google first raised the stakes when it launched the Penguin algorithm in April 2012. Primarily this was to eradicate black hat SEO techniques such as keyword stuffing. In terms of content writing, this was a revelation for talented writers. But now the new algorithm means that those talented writers need to be in greater demand. Sophisticated content is now understandable by Google – it’s time to upgrade.

Heritage Marketing on Display

What has gotten lost in the wake of the Hummingbird news, is that the announcement was made from the garage rented by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they launched Google. Personally, I think this was a marketing masterstroke. It would be all too easy for a digital giant like Google to forget its heritage, but not in this case. Google chose to make a major announcement while simultaneously honour the pioneers that made the moment possible.

Future Google Algorithm Guides

The Prime Scripting blog will continue to feature guides on the various Google algorithms. You can keep checking back for new additions – we will announce all of these on our Twitter account. is your dependable source of information for relevant SEO analysis. (Photo credit to Dawn Hopkins)

By Mike Porter