Whenever Google updates its search engine by replacing the old algorithm with a new one, SEO consultants and companies panic. Any change on Google’s part could completely alter every one of their current strategies. It could render their old backlinks and methods completely useless. It could undo months of hard work.

This time, Google averted the panicking SEO workers by implementing the change about a month ago, then announcing it this week. The new algorithm, “Hummingbird,” is designed to better answer full questions rather than individual words.

Try searching a question such as “what channel is ‘Breaking Bad’ on?” In the past, Google would provide you with a series of links. Some of them may have given you the actors for “Breaking Bad,” reviews, fan sites, etc. Now the first result in the search query will be “AMC,” followed by a series of links that specifically answer your question. For anyone who uses Google to answer simple questions like this, the Hummingbird algorithm is a welcome change.

What Does This Mean for SEO?

Absolutely nothing, actually. Even though Hummingbird is being called a “new” algorithm and is expected to affect “around 90% of searches,” it will only be noticeable in the search results. PageRank is one of 200 factors that go into the new algorithm, meaning that nothing will change for SEO. Updates “Penguin” and “Panda” are also a part of Hummingbird.

In fact, Hummingbird has been running for a month without the world falling apart. This is certainly welcome news to any SEO whose life was turned upside down by the replacement “Caffeine Update” in 2010 and the updates Penguin and Panda.

Google continues to advise SEO companies and workers to produce original, high-quality content.


Kumparak, Greg. “Google Recently Made A Silent Shift To A New Search Algorithm, ‘Hummingbird.’”

http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/26/google-recently-made-a-silent-shift-to-a-new-search-algorithm-hummingbird/. (27 Sept. 2013).

Sullivan, Danny. “FAQ: All About The New Google ‘Hummingbird’ Algorithm.”

http://searchengineland.com/google-hummingbird-172816. (27 Sept. 2013).