Hummingbird is just one of many algorithms that Google possesses. Its name was copied from the speed and accuracy of the hummingbird animal. When Hummingbird was announced for the first time, Matt Cutts (Googles Software Engineer) said that this algorithm will impact almost 85% of all searches.
Unlike the previous algorithm updates, Hummingbird did not appear to have a negative impact on the web, in fact, it actually improved the overall experience, providing high-quality content that reads well to the user and is providing answers to the question the searcher is asking. Before Hummingbird algorithm came about, search results gave you exactly what you put in. Most of the results provided very little value.
In order to really make sense of Hummingbird, it is essential to first get familiar with the search engine features it most heavily impacted:
Semantic search: Was originally designed to help Google understand the user’s intent and widen the possibility of their users getting the best search experience possible. Semantic search also plays a big role in identifying and suspending lower-quality content. Methods like article spinning and keyword stuffing are more easily flagged due to advanced systems
Knowledge Graph: Google originally releases its knowledge graph to provide a better experience for the user and provide quick and accurate answers. In the diagram below, you can see an actual knowledge graph with standard organic results. It also contains a rich set of knowledge graph data, including an answer box with all the information about the actor and his social media platforms at the bottom.
Hummingbird helped Google provide a better experience for the user, replacing old spammy content with high-quality language that reads well to the user and is providing answers to the question the searcher is asking, using their own words.
This provides a massive opportunity for sites that give a lot of free value and publish the answers to the public. Most popular queries can seek to become chosen by Google as relevant resources for particular topics.
In today’s search engine results, serving the intent of the searcher should place high on your list of SEO priorities, and you’ll want to use a combination of direct interaction with your audience, keyword research, and topical research to help your website achieve improve its online visibility.