Googles Hummingbird Code

Release Date :August 20, 2013.

What is Google Hummingbird?

Google Hummingbird is a complete overhaul of the ranking algorithm Google uses. What makes Hummingbird special, is that unlike Panda and Penguin, which were two add-ons to the existing algorithm, Hummingbird relies on next-generation Machine Learning and Latent Semantic Indexing. Hummingbird has allowed for Rich Data extraction, which creates interesting interfaces on the right hand side of the Google Search Engine.

The interface on the right of the search results encompass “Rich Data” extracted and compiled from thousands of websites to create accurate results.

Machine Learning & Latent Semantic Indexing

Machine Learning, as you may be able to guess, enables an engine such as Google’s Hummingbird, to learn which sites better satisfy queries than others. For example, if you spend 15 seconds on one website scanning the content, find nothing of value, leave, and click on another and spend 2 minutes there because you’ve found what you’re looking for, Google realises. This is known as TOS (Time-on-site) and has a massive impact on SEO.

LSI is a branch of Machine Learning that is specific to Search Engines. You might be able to see the irony in “well that was great!” when something goes wrong, but how does a computer learn that? Well, LSI is the answer. When you and I Google “brinty speers” because we don’t know how to spell her name, Google still has to create a valuable list of results for that query. It does this through learning relationships between words, slang, catch phrases, and parsing the real meaning.

Why does it matter?

Whether you’re a free-time blog writer, news agency, eCommerce owner, or content creator, algorithms like Hummingbird are the future. The ability to better match solutions to queries makes them infinitely more powerful, and they can learn for themselves! It’s important to get familiar with these platforms now, or have people by your side when the time comes to capitalise on gaps in the market.

My rule of thumb is build a site for a user, not a spider

Dave Naylor

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