Google has rolled out its most ambitious algorithm yet. Last September, the Internet giant announced that the world has in fact been operating their search engines with the new Google Hummingbird update for over a month, using as a success indicator the fact that users did not buck the change.
The Hummingbird update is revolutionary in the sense that it vows to make the search experience more personal. One of its more important upgrades is the Knowledge Graph, which improves comparisons and filters for a more fruitful search.
If a user is logged on to his Google account, a query for “how far is Los Angeles from here” will take note of the asker’s location before plotting out a route through Google Maps. This is displayed right below the search bar, so that the user need not surf away from the search page at all.
Google has also worked on correlating strings of queries. An article by Forbes shows how Google now produces related searches based on previous queries. For example, a user might start by asking for “pictures of the Golden Gate bridge”. The user can then ask “how long is it”. The search engine will refer to the first query about the Golden Gate bridge in answering the question about its length, without having to mention the key words “Golden Gate Bridge” at all.
Still, the system’s apparent overeagerness to provide users information within the page does not avoid all kinds of kinks. A search for the St. Louis Cardinals during their World Series battle against the Boston Red Sox occasionally led to a defaced Wikipedia article . This can be traced to Google not updating its cache. This practice has crossed over to politics as well, as previously, queries for the key words “miserable failure” led to pages pertaining to George W. Bush.
News of the Hummingbird update may bring anxiety to SEO practitioners, but some experts doubt that it augurs the end of the industry. Google is adamant about protecting the search engine’s users, and it prides itself in doing such by ensuring that they get high-quality content. For as long as the content isn’t compromised, those who engage in SEO should not worry about their work getting buried in the search results. Basically, for as long as a web page is worth reading, it will continue to rank.