After Google rolled out their Penguin and Panda updates, many websites were shaken up by the results. We outlined some of the effects of the Penguin update in a previous blog post here. The takeaway to be aware of with these previous updates, which are typically a series of small updates spread out over time, is that Google wants a website to be valuable to visitors.
While people were still reeling over the effects of the previous Google updates, the search engine giant announced that the Hummingbird had landed on September 26, 2013. This date was actually a decoy date as Hummingbird was already in effect for about a month before it was announced.
The Same But Different
This latest update shares some similarities with the Panda and Penguin updates Google has rolled out in the past couple of years. It also is vastly different than these updates, and that is where things get interesting. While both Panda and Penguin were significant updates on the old algorithm that Google uses to index websites, Hummingbird is a different animal altogether.
This time, Google ditched their old algorithm and started using a totally revamped one. Hummingbird has some of the same parts of the previous algorithms that were still serving the needs of search engine users while other parts are vastly different. This complete package is designed to meet the changing needs of Internet searchers and bring them better results, faster.
Focus is the Buzzword
Hummingbird is geared toward refining the search engine result pages (SERPs) that are visible to consumers. Instead of more generic results, the algorithm is designed to focus the results that it delivers to searchers, making them more relevant. In addition, it is supposed to better anticipate what users are looking for by sorting out common words and focusing on those topics that fit better, depending on the history and interests of the user. This means having a sharply focused and polished website is more important than ever to capture your audience.