Searching Just Got Personal with Google Hummingbird

As part of their 15th anniversary celebrations, Google announced the latest update to their search algorithm, Hummingbird. Amit Singhal, senior VP at Google, revealed that Hummingbird had been in place for about a month, affecting about 90% of the searches performed on the search engine.

Recognizing that users were asking more detailed questions when performing searches, Google decided to accommodate this. It’s now like asking a friend about something, e.g. “Where’s can I buy a new laptop near me?”  They decided to revamp large portions of the search algorithm, keeping the best parts of the Caffeine redesign from 2010, Panda, and Penguin too. While Caffeine focused on searching, Hummingbird focuses on indexing.

The announcement was a little light on the technical details of the updates, but it looks like searching will get a lot more interesting going forward. Whether you’re searching for information with the Knowledge Graph or asking questions aloud using voice search, Google’s got you covered.

Google's Knowledge Graph

What does this mean for your B2B site?

In a word, nothing. Hummingbird mainly affects how search results are displayed, not how it finds the search results. That means the old Google SEO guidelines are still in effect: have original, high-quality content on your site. Hummingbird will simply now process your site content, SEO, and signals in new, and hopefully better ways.

Have you noticed anything different in your searching on Google? I’m curious to know what you think about these updates. What’s the biggest difference you’ve seen?