What is the Hummingbird Update?
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What is the Hummingbird Bird?
That’s a technical term for what you can think of as a recipe that Google uses to sort through the billions of web pages and other information it has, in order to return what it believes are the best answers.
It’s the name of the new search algorithm that Google is using, one that Google says should return better results.
Why is it called Hummingbird?
Google told us the name come from being “precise and fast.”
What type of “new” search activity does Hummingbird help?
“Conversational search” is one of the biggest examples Google gave. People, when speaking searches, may find it more useful to have a conversation.
“What’s the closest place to buy the iPhone 5s to my home?” A traditional search engine might focus on finding matches for words — finding a page that says “buy” and “iPhone 5s,” for example.
Hummingbird should better focus on the meaning behind the words. It may better understand the actual location of your home, if you’ve shared that with Google. It might understand that “place” means you want a brick-and-mortar store. It might get that “iPhone 5s” is a particular type of electronic device carried by certain stores. Knowing all these meanings may help Google go beyond just finding pages with matching words.
In particular, Google said that Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.