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Sep 30 2013

The Google Algorithm is Dead; Long Live the Google Algorithm

‘Hummingbird’ is the newest edition of the Google Algorithm, and there is a lot to know.

google algorithm hummingbirdIn case you have not already heard, Google updated its algorithm last week. Now, this wasn’t some casual change to the Google algorithm. This was a complete overhaul of the program in its entirety. Naturally, there are some questions people are asking.

Didn’t the Google algorithm just change with Panda and Penguin?

All the talk has revolved around Panda and Penguin lately and a lot of SEOs and webmasters have spent their time getting used to that update. We need to differentiate between these updates and the new ‘Hummingbird’ algorithm.

Panda and Penguin are add-ons to the algorithm. Let’s put it in terms of a house. You own a home and buy couches and beds. These pieces of furniture are to the home what Panda and Penguin are to the Google algorithm. ‘Hummingbird’ is a new home.

Do I have to change my SEO strategy?

If you haven’t seen major changes to your traffic and search rankings in the last month, the likelihood is you won’t see any changes in the future; the ‘Hummingbird’ update has been live for about a month. Google just decided to announce it late last week.

What are the major changes?

The idea behind this update is to provide a more conversational aspect to Google’s search capabilities. Now, where you used to look up “Chinese food broadway” you might find better results if you conduct a search that reads, “Where can I find Chinese food near my office on Broadway?”

Presumably, this is Google’s way of competing with the Graph Search update from Facebook, which makes it easier to search conversationally on the social network. It is also designed to be faster and provide users with more accurate results.

So, are updates like Panda and Penguin out of the equation?

No. Going back to the house example, ‘Hummingbird’ is a new house with a lot of the same furniture. That said, Google updates its algorithm about 500 times per year. That’s an average of about one and a half modifications per day. It is very important that you keep up to date with the changes Google announces in order to keep your rankings high.

OK – what do I need to know?

The important thing to keep in mind is that Google has been trying to incorporate its social layer into search for a long time. The idea here is that the more active you are on Google products, more specifically, Google+, the better it will be for your rankings.

This conversational update is designed, presumably, to make conversations on networks like Google more relevant to search results.

Have you noticed any changes to the Google algorithm in the last month? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!

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Corey Padveen

Corey Padveen is Google AdWords Certified, Google Analytics Certified, a Certified Inbound Marketer and the Director of Global Social Business Strategy at t2 Marketing International. He is a principle strategist for B2B, B2C, B2G and NFP client-centered digital marketing initiatives and is a leading authority on the concepts of Social Equity and Responsive Branding. As the primary author of the t2 Marketing International digital marketing blog, a contributing author to a number of reputable marketing publications and a keynote speaker, Corey regularly shares his wealth of knowledge in the realm of digital marketing, data analysis and social media, and their applications to business in the digital age.

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