The popular Internet search engine Google has recently made an update called Hummingbird that is designed to give better answers to questions asked by Internet users. This modification was kept relatively quiet by Google, and occurred over the past month.
How Hummingbird Could Impact Website Traffic
Hummingbird is the most drastic alteration that has been made to Google since a redesign called Caffeine three years ago. The Hummingbird update may have a big impact on website traffic as it affects how about 90 percent of search requests received by Google are analyzed.
Because Google search rankings impact so much of the traffic on the Internet, any type of alteration made by Google can have a huge impact. In the United States, Google handles approximately two out of three search engine requests and has an even higher percentage in Europe.
One effect of Hummingbird update could be that the cost of Google ads may increase if websites that have fallen in rankings begin purchasing marketing messages to draw more traffic to their site. As it is, search ads and other commercial web content make up most of Google’s annual sixty billion dollar revenue.
How Has Hummingbird Impacted Search Engine Rankings So Far?
The updates to the Google search engine have not yet caused a panic among other websites, leading one to believe that there has not been a drastic difference in website rankings.
The Caffeine update received a loud outcry because it detected websites that attempted to use trickery to make the Google search engine think their website pertained to common search queries. This caused many websites that had normally ranked very highly in the search results to be rated drastically lower, or even to be excluded from the results altogether.
Hummingbird has a different focus, which is to allow the search engine to understand concepts and not just words. Another reason why Hummingbird was developed is due to the increase in search requests that are spoken, for example, when using a smartphone or voice-recognition technology.
In addition to Hummingbird, Google has also come up with a few other updates to its search features that make information more concise to avoid having to navigate to different websites. This will greatly help users when using small screens that don’t allow for much navigation, such as smartphone screens. These additions mainly affect Google’s Knowledge Graph and Google Now features. Knowledge Graph is similar to an encyclopedia in that it provides additional information and photos along with search results. Now, Knowledge Graph will also be able to make comparisons between two different items, while Google Now will begin flagging information about updates on famous people that the user has searched for information on it the past.
An Upcoming Google Update
For devices that run Apple’s mobile operating system, Google will soon have an update that allows for sending notifications about things as personal appointments or errands that need to be done. Notifications can be delivered to tablets and smartphones featuring Android software as well.
Though this new Google update was very quietly introduced, it has not yet seemed to have any adverse impact on the way formerly popular ranking websites are currently ranking. Time will tell if anything changes in that respect.
[Image credit: DansPhotoArt, Flickr]