What is Google's Hummingbird Update?

Google Hummingbird was an update to Google’s algorithm that attempted to better understand the intent of users’ searches and provide more relevant results. One of its main goals was to improve semantic search.

More About Google's Hummingbird Update

Unlike the Panda and Penguin updates, Hummingbird was a complete overhaul of the existing Google algorithm.

Released in 2013, Hummingbird affected 90 percent of all searches. Essentially, it aimed to focus on users’ intent and their search’s contextual relevance. This is called semantic search and it enables users to find more relevant search results. For instance, if users search for “weather,” they are likely looking for local forecasts.

This new update allowed Google to not just evaluate individual keywords, but their combined context. Before Hummingbird, users frequently had to edit their search keywords to find the right content, which was slower and more frustrating.

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