Last night at its 15th anniversary bash Google announced Hummingbird, its most significant algorithm update since the 2010 caffeine update.
Since its genesis Google have wanted to develop a search engine that could answer any question the user asks. Traditionally search engines have focused on matching queries to words but have struggled to understand subtleties like context, synonymy, spelling and internationalisation.
At the event, in the garage where Google was born, the search giant proudly announced that their latest algorithm will be better at understanding user intent and answering more complex (and longer) question queries.
We believe it is focused on delivering better results for voice queries – something that is becoming more popular, driven by Apple’s “Siri” and Google’s “Search by Voice”. These searches tend to be longer and require a more subtle understanding.
In terms of how this affects SEO and search in general, Google stated that the new algorithm quietly rolled out over a month ago and SEOs should still expect to see components like Panda and Penguin as part of the overall algorithm.
We think it excellent opportunity for brands to continue to create and develop rich, relevant content that the new algorithm should reward accordingly.
For now it is too early to know for sure but as an agency we welcome this latest development to an ever changing industry.