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What is Google Hummingbird?

Google Hummingbird は、検索クエリを理解し、より関連性の高い検索結果を提供する Google の能力を向上させる、重要なアルゴリズムのアップデートです。 Google released it in August 2013 but only revealed its existence one month later, in September 2013.

Before the Hummingbird update, Google matched the keywords in a search query with that in the content displayed in search results. However, with the Hummingbird update, Google focused on displaying content that matched the searcher’s intent. 

Google called the update Hummingbird because, just like the hummingbird, it was “precise and fast.” However, Google currently lists it as a retired search ranking system. This means Google has replaced it with another algorithm or incorporated it into its core ranking system. 

That said, Hummingbird was a major algorithm update. In fact, the only other updates that came close in scope were the Caffeine update, which was announced three years earlier, on June 9, 2010, and a major algorithm rewrite that occurred sometime around 2001. 

Importance of the Hummingbird Update

Hummingbird was a major rewrite of the Google Search algorithm. Unlike the previous algorithm, which focused on analyzing the keywords in the search query, Hummingbird focuses on analyzing every word in the query. 

Specifically, Hummingbird focuses on understanding the words in the query and the context in which they are used. That way, Google can provide searchers with relevant and accurate results. 

For example, if you searched “best Italian restaurants near me” on Google, the old Google Search algorithm would prioritize results that contained the phrase “best Italian restaurants” and were geographically near the user.

However, with the Hummingbird update, the algorithm takes into account the context and intent behind the query.

In this case, Google understands that the searcher seeks information on Italian restaurants, specifically the ones that are considered the best and are located nearby. So, it considers the reviews and popularity of Italian restaurants close to the searcher’s location and presents them on the search results page.

Benefits of the Google Hummingbird Update

The Google Hummingbird update provided the Google Search algorithm with new capabilities. Some of them include:

  • Improved query understanding
  • Semantic search
  • Natural language processing
  • Improved results for long-tail Keywords

1 Improved Query Understanding

Hummingbird focused on understanding the meaning behind the words in a search query. This allowed Google to provide more accurate and relevant results for complex and conversational queries.

2 Semantic Search

Hummingbird introduced semantic search capabilities to the Google Search algorithm. This allowed Google to better understand the context and relationships between the words in a query and interpret the searcher’s intent. 

3 Natural Language Processing

Hummingbird enhanced Google’s ability to process natural language queries, making it more effective at handling questions and conversational search inputs. This improvement was particularly important for mobile and voice searches where searchers tend to use natural, conversational language.

4 Improved Results for Long-Tail Keywords

Hummingbird improved Google’s ability to handle long-tail keywords, which are typically used by searchers seeking specific search queries. This allowed Google to provide relevant results for niche and rare queries. Before Hummingbird, these sorts of queries sometimes returned spammy content. 

Impact of the Hummingbird Algorithm Update

The Hummingbird algorithm update had a significant impact on searchers, the SEO industry, and even future developments in Google Search.

1 User Experience

Hummingbird significantly improved the user experience for searchers, especially when it delivered precise and relevant results for complex and conversational queries.

2 SEO Strategy

Hummingbird encouraged SEOs and bloggers to create high-quality content that addresses user intent and answers specific questions. It incentivized the shift away from keyword stuffing towards more natural, informative content.

3 Voice Search and Mobile Search

Hummingbird was beneficial for voice and mobile search, where searchers often use natural language and longer queries. Without the Hummingbird update, Google would have found it difficult to understand these queries and may return irrelevant results. 

 

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