How Hummingbird Affects You

Welton Hong
May 27, 2014
THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

A big part of my job is helping local business owners understand how directly they're affected by what might seem like minor changes on the Internet landscape.

For example, Google creating a new algorithm probably doesn't sound like a big deal on its face. Those search engine geeks are tweaking something again? So what? Google still looks like Google when I search for something. Why would an algorithm matter for a window and door business? 

Actually, every time Google changes something, that change ripples out across the Internet to create major waves — tidal waves, even. When it tweaked its algorithm with updates called Penguin and Panda, those tweaks completely rewrote the search engine rankings for hundreds of thousands of sites around the world. 

Last fall, Google created a completely new algorithm called Hummingbird. It's even more impactful than Penguin and Panda, because those were simply adjustments to the established algorithm. Hummingbird is a new search algorithm altogether. This is the first time since 2001 that Google's algorithm has been so drastically rewritten.

Here's the bottom line: Analysts estimate that an amazing 90 percent of websites saw a drop in their search rankings when Hummingbird was released. This is because Hummingbird, unlike previous algorithms, doesn't simply prioritize specific keywords. Instead, it searches for high-quality content that people will find informative.

Hummingbird is intended to better understand "complex questions" from users. Instead of using a few key terms in the search, it will consider the entire inquiry and use that to give you the most relevant results possible. 

To ensure the best search engine rankings under Hummingbird, consider adding more real-world, question-specific queries into your site content. This could be in the form of blog posts, FAQs and more. Also, make sure your site is designed to work optimally on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, as these are primary concerns for Hummingbird.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.


Survey Results for 05/28/2014 :

Have you made changes to your business site to deal with Hummingbird?

No, because I've never heard of Hummingbird before.





Yes, but I've seen no substantial changes.





No, because I don't think it's important.





Yes, and I've seen good results.






Welton Hong is the founder and Internet marketing director of Ring Ring Marketing, an Internet marketing firm that specializes in window and door businesses. Contact him at or 888/383-2848.

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