Google announced a completely re-written search algorithm called “Hummingbird”.
Hummingbird is designed to serve the new search demands, i.e. the transition to mobile and voice. As more people speak searches into phones, they’re doing so in a more natural language than they type in queries, using more terms in each query.
The new algorithm is adjusted to recognize the relationship among those terms, ensuring that the whole sentence is taken into account, rather than individual words.
Google has already been doing Conversational search within its Knowledge Graph answers. Hummingbird is designed to apply this semantic capability – understanding the meaning behind the terms, to all searches and thus return more accurate results and filter out more spam.
Google officially announced Hummingbird on September 27th, however, the new engine was quietly rolled out about a month ago. Among our clients, we have not seen major dips or spikes in organic search traffic.
We believe that hummingbird is essentially a new “container” and 99% of signals remain as is for now. However, the new engine will allow Google to easily apply criteria changes and updates and we expect to see a lot of them coming soon. We shall keep following and updating on the developments.