Last week, Google informed us of their latest search algorithm update which they have dubbed ‘Hummingbird’. We are told this algorithm has been in place for over a month and affects approximately 90% of all search results. This update is focused on providing more accurate results to users who type lengthy questions into search and aims to achieve more relevant results to concepts rather than simple keywords. Users nowadays have higher expectations of the answers they find on search engines and generally write a query as they would say it.

However, Google have not confirmed which elements of websites they are using to refine these results or any specific changes that they have made in how they look at sites.

“Hummingbird represents the most dramatic alteration to Google’s search engine since it revised the way it indexes websites three years ago as part of a redesign called Caffeine,” said Amit Singhal, a senior vice president for the company.

The Caffeine algorithm was the first one of its kind, it sought to reshuffle search results and remove all websites that were trying to trick their bots into believing they were relevant for a random number of subjects and keyphrases. There was a large outcry when this was put in place as 100s of websites disappeared from their favoured top spot on certain search results. So far Hummingbird has not caused noticeable disruption for many. This may be due to the fact that the search engine world knows from the recent Panda and Penguin updates just how important it is to be ‘white-hat’ and keep in line with Google’s algorithms! Therefore those at the top in the last 6 months are most likely trusted quality websites who won’t see much difference in their rankings.