How Will ‘Hummingbird’ Impact SEO?

Red question mark in the spotlight

How Will ‘Hummingbird’ Impact SEO?

What Do You Do When Google Changes the Rules… Again?

As you undoubtedly know, Google has introduced a very new and different search algorithm…called “Hummingbird” (an analogy for how fast the new search renders results).

It’s actually been “live” for several months now (according to an update posted in the article linked to below) …Interestingly, Google did not announce the release publicly for quite some time…which is unlike their usual “fanfare” approach to “Google News.”

Web site owners are generally “freaking out” over this (any time Google changes the rules of the game it’s scary to small web site owners, especially those using a passive-income model, where web site traffic is especially important).

My Own Hummingbird Quest

I’ve conducted my own mini-research over the last week or so — because of the furor over these potential changes — to see if I could sort out all the details for myself. Any time something this major hits the media — online and off — there are going to be all sorts of doom and gloom reports! There are seldom any good reports (good news doesn’t sell!).

What I’ve learned during this brief search is actually inspiring my confidence in Google and its support of the content-rich sites, including the passive-income web site model

Here are several articles I have found that explain, from varying perspectives, just what Google representatives, SEO and Google “experts” have to say…

Probably the most basic (least “techno-speak”) and most useful for a general overview is from Joshua Steimle, writing for

NOTE: For those readers looking for more detailed information, Steimle links to two in-depth articles. As he says, these articles are more technical, and very detailed.

Some other articles on the topic:

  • For a small business perspective — as in adaptations industry “experts” believe will have to be made — see this article on BusinessNewsDaily:

If you still want more, just Google “Google Hummingbird” and conduct your own survey…and draw your own conclusions.

More articles are showing up daily! It’s a hot topic and all sorts of online news media outlets are covering Hummingbird (I suspect they all want to cash in on the high traffic they are bound to receive).

My Take-Away from All This

Recurring Themes, Consistent Messages

One of the recurring themes I have seen (in my admittedly brief) research is the idea that the new algorithm focuses on the changing how Google interprets the way people have always been searchingusing human words, in context

I look at this as a logical evolution in search: the KW-stage was sort of an elementary-school level of search capability, whereas the grown-up Hummingbird is a more natural context-sensitive understanding of how we humans search anyway!

My conclusion underscores Google’s long-time goal of aiding searchers (you and me) to get the information we/they are looking for, without having to adjust our search queries to fit Google’s “formula” or semantic understanding.

Some Final Thoughts…

I said at the beginning of this article that I believe the consensus about Hummingbird is basically positive. Nothing I have read during my research has given me any reason to change this perspective. I still believe that (but then…I AM an eternal optimist!), but with one caveat: IF you are creating useful, original content.

I think Joshua Steimle ( article) is right! I believe Google will reward high-quality, content-rich sites with their new search algorithm

I also think that the views reported in the Business News Daily article above are a bit alarmist… This is certainly not directed toward the reporter, just the views of those interviewed.

Now… time will tell, and you may well accuse me of “drinking the Google Kool-Aid” but, as many pundits have pointed out, Google makes the rules. It doesn’t do any good to bemoan any changes, or adopt a “victim” mentality… Your time and energy are much better spent doing the work to find out how changes will impact you and go from there…

What experience have you had with Hummingbird? Have you modified how you develop or deliver your web content (as suggested by the BusinessNewsDaily article)? Let me know in the Comments below.

About the Author

Karen McCamyKaren is a WordPress Trainer & Coach. She currently teaches WP101 in Los Angeles, and a Girl-Develop-It class where you build your own website from the ground up!View all posts by Karen McCamy →