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Google’s new Hummingbird update and high-level changes from Panda

You’ve guessed it, yet more changes from Google to their search algorithm in the form of an algorithm change codenamed Hummingbird.

Despite the fact that Hummingbird has been used since August, Google finally announced their new search algorithm on September 26. Hummingbird is a major change for Google and there has been no update of this magnitude in recent times. To fully comprehend Google’s in-depth change, simply consider that Panda was just a change to parts of an old algorithm, while Hummingbird is a sweeping replacement of the entire algorithm, as a means to provide users with better and more relevant results to their queries.

To put it in simple terms, Google now appreciates high quality, shareable and engaging content, as opposed to keyword stuffed content of the past that was solely been created to cheat on search engine optimisation.

Search results used to display all the pages that matched with parts of users’ queries, meaning with SOME words in the search of each user. Now, with Hummingbird, Google will search in deep for the MEANING of each query and provide users with the most relevant pages, answering the very core of users’ queries.

Another breakthrough in Hummingbird is that conversational search is now a fact. Google has stepped out of its standardised Knowledge Graph database and expands the Graph, since it can apply the meaning technology to a huge array of billions pages on the internet. That way, Google can bring back more relevant and higher quality results.  Moreover, mobile phone users, voice searchers and users of any mobile device can have their conversational queries answered faster and more effectively.

Panda runs as a content qualify filter. The purpose of Panda was/is to identify sites that have either duplicated or low quality content or sites that have been overly using distracting ads, and remove it from rankings on search returns. Panda was a wake-up call for webmasters and businesses that used poor quality or duplicate content on their sites.  In other words, sites that did not provide users with relevant, high quality, informative content were penalised by Panda and hidden deep down on the search ranking page or removed completely.

Hummingbird does not penalise sites with low-quality or duplicated content but works to improving the overall search results by implementing a more complex semantic search that is not as keyword driven as previously. Hummingbird dives into the word order and syntax of queries to bring up the most relevant pages.

Hummingbird will greatly favour sites with informational, navigational and transactional content. Those pages/sites that provide useful content that include the brand’s name (if it’s for a business) and the product name(s) in thematically relevant resources, while using relevant keywords, will do well. To put it simply, Google rewards those that have invested in good quality content and have focused on enhancing the user experience.

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