Google ‘Hummingbird’ Search Engine Algorithm to Elevate Niche Websites

Christian Thomson

Christian is a British-born entrepreneur and founder of Marwick. For over 19 years, Christian has successfully helped businesses excel in digital marketing.

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Wouldn’t it be cool if we could talk to our technology and ask it questions, like they do in SciFi movies, and get the exact answer we were looking for as if we had been in conversation with a close friend?  That is what Hummingbird, the new algorithm update from Google is. Writes Christian from Marwick Marketing.

Imagine being able to ask your device a question with your voice and have it understand the meaning behind the words, the complex concepts, the meaning of our query as a whole.

A voice would reply back with an accurate response to queries people regularly have in conversation such as “How late is it open?” in a conversation that started with “Where’s the nearest Olive Garden?”. This is what Google’s Conversational Search (, which was rolled out in May of this year does. One of main things Hummingbird has been created to do is to help conversational search better understand the meaning behind the words we use i.e. Pronouns, and how they relate in a string of queries.  It enables the understanding of context.

You should care about Hummingbird because it is a more natural way to search which will allow you to get just the content you want with less irrelevant results.  It’s a way for technology to really comprehend the meaning behind words and not just the words individually.

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Hummingbird’s algorithm relates to Google’s Knowledge Graph (

Knowledge Graph collects information about objects in the real world we live in and makes connections to other relevant information about that object based on what people are actually searching for online.  It finds and stores relationships.

For example, Knowledge Graph would connect the search for Oprah Winfrey with other relevant information such as her height, age, project history, romantic partner, etc.  And it understands relationships between things such as “Oprah Winfrey” and “women in television”.

Whenever Google rolls out an update like Caffeine, Panda, or Penguin, internet marketers start blaming the algorithm changes in their being knocked down in rankings.  Quietly in use for about a month, no one has made a fuss so far about things being different.

Google has not changed their algorithm in such a large way since 2001.  In twelve years a lot has changed regarding the internet and how we use online search. Consumers have gotten more sophisticated in their use of technology.  Google’s algorithm has evolved to meet the needs of where society is heading.


If you’re a blogger, copywriter, website designer or work at an SEO firm, you may be wondering what this means for SEO. SEO is still relevant and still works to get websites to rank well.  This update will not affect that. Sites still need to have content that is original and of high quality.  Links still need to be high quality and relevant.  That hasn’t changed.  What Hummingbird does is decrease the importance of keywords alone while increasing the importance of connections.   Connecting with your audience, having them interact with your site and share your links on social media is more important than ever.

Google’s Hummingbird update makes search smarter, allowing you to more easily and naturally find exactly what you’re looking for, as if you were being helped by a good friend.

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