Recently Google celebrated its 15th birthday. It took this opportunity to announce its largest algorithm update.
Surprising many commentators and industry executives, Google revealed at the point of announcement that the algorithm update had actually been operative for the preceding month.
This was astonishing. How could such a significant event – an event that would affect 90% of search queries worldwide—have slipped under the wire without attracting the close attention of SEO professionals everywhere?
The answer was simple, but telling. Those people (like Hoops) who spend their lives focusing on the SEO industry (and have been occupied by focusing on this industry for more than a decade) think and monitor Google by way of traditional thought processes and questioning.
But the industry is not what it was. People’s methods of “undertaking information retrieval” (or searching for you and me) have changed significantly over the last fifteen years.
Google’s Matt Cutts offered an insight into the thinking that underpinned the algorithm update in a
In this Matt introduced a different way of approaching context-based queries. The ideas he raised demonstrated the way in which Google was taking on the status quo.
Google was taking on the status quo because of research the company had undertaken around the expectations of those undertaking voice-based searches.
Google remains committed to its mission: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” As such the company can’t afford to stop innovating. Things will only get easier and faster for consumers to connect with relevant information, while this innovation continues.
So we have the Hummingbird Update. This is essentially just the latest in a series of updates, aimed at making sure that Google continues to supply relevant, timely information in the fastest way possible.
The Hummingbird Update is not dissimilar to the Google Instant update in 2010. Both were
significant updates that have a direct bearing on user experience. However, the changes represent a logical and (perhaps more importantly) natural progression in search engine user interface design.
Over the short-term, the Hummingbird Update will be most pertinent to SEO industry professionals who play with what’s referred to as “contextual search technology”.
Henceforth we’ll be searching for information by first of all defining a search topic. We will then dig deeper by using pro-nouns, rather than keywords. It’s like taking a rapier rather than a sword to the issue. Because of this it’s the finer touch that will now yield the greatest benefits in SEO.
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