This past month Google updated to a new search algorithm called “Hummingbird.” You might be wondering what a search algorithm is, but it’s pretty simple. It’s a technical term that Google uses to sort through the many web pages in order to return what it believes to be the best answers. The Hummingbird system focuses on user intent versus individual search terms, which makes your searches more precise. For example, a search for “pizza hut calories per slice” used to list an answer from food and diet websites, but not one from Pizza Hut. Now, it lists an answer directly from Pizza Hut itself. Hummingbird focuses on the meaning behind the words and allows Google to go beyond just finding pages with matching words.
This all sounds like great renovations to Google, but do we know if it really works? Research tells us that we really don’t know the full effect of this new algorithm just yet, but Google provided some before-and-after examples to show the improvements. Google is trying to keep up-to-date with the progression of Internet usage. Amit Singhal, a senior vice president for the company, estimates that this redesign will affect the analysis of about 90 percent of the search requests that Google gets.