What is Google Hummingbird?

SEO Nov 26, 2017

Google has a new search algorithm, the system it uses to sort through all the information it has when you search and come back with answers. It’s called “Hummingbird”, the name come from being “precise and fast”. Google uses search algorithm to sort through the billions of web pages and other information it has, in order to return what it believes are the best answers.

Google announced Hummingbird on September 26, 2013, Google’s 15th birthday but it had actually already been in place about a month prior.

It’s the name of the new search algorithm that Google is using, one that Google says should return better results. Hummingbird looks at PageRank — how important links to a page are deemed to be — along with other factors like whether Google believes a page is of good quality, the words used on it and many other things. When Google switched to Hummingbird, it’s as if it dropped the old engine out of a car and put in a new one. Google did this so quickly that no one really noticed the switch.

Penguin and Panda updates:

Unlike the previous Panda and Penguin updates which were initially released as add-ons to Google’s existing algorithm, Hummingbird has been cited as a complete overhaul of the core algorithm. Panda, Penguin and other updates were changes to parts of the old algorithm, but not an entire replacement of the whole. Previous algorithm updates like Panda and Penguin sparked significant reporting of lost traffic and rankings. Hummingbird is a brand new engine, though it continues to use some of the same parts of the old, like Penguin and Panda

Hummingbird purpose and voice search:

One of Hummingbird’s main purposes was to translate semantic search from a concept to a reality — and one that would ultimately become the search standard. Why type your search when you can speak your search? Voice search is one of the biggest examples Google gave. People, when speaking searches, may find it more useful to have a conversation.

Conversational Search is the basis of Google’s new algorithm and core update named Hummingbird. “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.

Will Hummingbird affect my rankings?

Hummingbird is part of Google’s need to become less dependent on keywords. Compared to previous updates, there has been little reported about wide spread losses in rankings.With Hummingbird, Google hopes to significantly alter the way users interact with their search engine. All search engines seek to provide relevant search results quickly and efficiently. Google is working toward a new level of speed and precision in their search results. If you want to be sure, check your organic traffic from late August to early October of 2013. If you see any major dips, that could be a result of Hummingbird.


The new Hummingbird algorithm is better for everyone including Google, consumers, SEOs, and website owners. Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole sentence or conversation or meaning has been taken into account, rather than particular words.

Hummingbird goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words. The only thing SEO companies have to fear is not understanding Hummingbird or other future updates. Google Hummingbird is designed to apply the meaning technology to billions of pages from across the web to bring back better results.

What are your thoughts on Hummingbird? Feel free to comment and discuss below.


  1. Lead Generation Services

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    1. Yasir Saeed
      Yasir Saeed

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  2. 10seos

    Could you give more info on Google Pigeon Update and how to fight ?

    1. Yasir Saeed
      Yasir Saeed

      Google Pigeon refers to an algorithm update for Google’s Local Search

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