SEO with Hummingbird

It has been a long wait but the time has come. Google’s SEO criteria has finally caught up with the times.

In Panda and Penguin, both represented by seemingly black and white animals, the algorithm was simple. There was no real room for understanding the content that was on offer. It was either black or white as seen by the Google search engine. With Hummingbird, Google searches starts to see things in color. I hated the Panda and Penguin SEO. It was buggy and open to exploitation by sites trying to sell you malware with a smidgen of spam. When Google transitioned its search algorithms to Hummingbird, I was jubilant. Finally, the searching gets more intelligent with content searches.

I remember Panda and Penguin well. These dumbed down algorithm were the dark ages of content development. Everywhere you went, people used word play—a technique where you used the right keywords for Google to pick up, one could push a website up the ranks. Both Panda and Penguin were based on these old algorithm were at best, Neanderthal— only the keywords mattered. It was like you spoke in grunts and a successful search would deliver the results like magic.

 When Google turned 15 on Sept 26, 2013. It quietly introduced a new algorithm. Now before you jump the gun, you need to understand that the old is still in there and the new indexing will take a few weeks to months to kick in as data collected by the engine will be understood using the new algorithm. There are billions of web pages to take notice of before it starts making sense. Those who do not meet the new requirements will slowly see their page rank sink. And you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know why.

Google takes a Swipe at Commercial Freeloaders

Advertising is what sells. If you happen to have a leeway where people can get a listing for free, why not plug that up? This is the why Hummingbird was put into place. Advertisers and retail websites have long used clever tricks in SEO word indexing to avoid paying for a spot on Google for better page rankings. By changing the policy behind this apparent dumb downed approach of earlier SEO algorithms, Hummingbird has been optimized to recognize the context of your content as opposed to just some key words. Black Hat SEO techniques  used ‘bots’ to post to comments and link that back to their site to trick Google into thinking it was a more happening site than playboy dot com. Since the keyword string has been exploited commercially, Google turned it off. Yep. It no longer works.

Pure retail websites, commercial and business sites will no longer enjoy that sort of page ranking benefit they have in the past with Black Hat Techniques. So if someone keyed in “how to buy a used car”, then you will get real content that addresses your question instead of pointing you to a bunch of used car web sites. To get right to the top, you’d have to pay Google to deliver that result.

Google will prefer to serve up meaningful content to address your woes like…. how do you repair the kitchen sink? What do you feed an Owl? Can I trade my recalcitrant kid on eBay? That sort of stuff.

From Polysemy to Semantic Technology

How do you rank associated terms to content? Easy. By making the technology smarter. Hummingbird recognizes Polysemy (which means a singular term can be use to mean different things) and improves on the Panda and Penguin SEO model to associate more meaningful terms to useful content. In short, Semantic technology is the next phase of development and a notch higher than Information Technology (IT) principles.


IT is all about storing and processing bits of data while Semantic Technology tries to make sense of it all in the context of human communications. It analyses more words in a sentence for communicative purpose. Hopefully it can also associate a male politician as a prostitute one day. That will be fun. It is this sort of double entendre that the new Google algorithm has to master eventually.

Voice Searches on Mobile

Hummingbird is a byproduct of mobile searches. It came about in 2011 when both Google and Apple decided to wage war to conquer the needs of mobile searching. Siri was born out of that and for that alone, Apple has already prepared itself to enter the search engine business with voice searching. Google was of course threatened and had to respond in kind.

Google and Apple both started offering voice recognition using Semantic Technology. For Siri and Google Now, both these systems had to understand a spoken questions to get answers as opposed to typing keywords to search the web. In the past, it was a one way street. both delivered results by detecting the keywords relevant to your question. Google has gone one step further by matching the context of your question to a relevant content that answers your question before serving this up to you. By recognizing human speech, it can also deliver results based on humanized content sans the sales talk.

Search Timeline 1997 - 2013

2013 marks the era for intelligent search optimization

For What the Future Holds I gotta Wear Shades

Hummingbird will be around for a long time and sites requiring a leg up will have to pay more attention to Content Optimization.

The birth of content optimization is nothing new. It has been discussed and demanded by content creators who spend countless hours horning their knowledge and sharing it with the world only to have it stolen and attributed to someone else who had a knack for exploiting keyword searches. All too often we click onto SPAM during our online searches and this has to stop. Online marketeers who have plagiarized websites for content will have no option but to change directions and move towards creating meaningful content. The future is finally bright enough for content developers to wear shades.

Keyword database has been turned off but will searching with keywords still work?

Google will need between three to six months to ease the new algorithm in. Your search ranking won’t be affected immediately but in time it will. There are millions upon millions of web pages and website that needs to be index, some of which won’t be getting the same high rankings after Google turned off the Keyword database.

Time is what is what Google needs for the new avian SEO to get cracking, those affected will be pure commercial websites that offer bookings, retail and any form of e-commerce. There was a time when all it took to rise to the top of the page ranking was a piece of software that inserted keywords into your page.

Content Optimization with Knowledge Graph

Creating content use to be another term for scrapping RSS news feeds off other sites or putting the stolen content through a Content Spinner to get something that sounded new. With more attention put through to Google Knowledge Graph, we have to relate that content to make up a whole picture and link it to the content originator.

Knowledge Graph is the Future

How do you link a random selection of words into something comprehensible? Well, one effective way is to make it understand what those words through a linking process. For example, if someone searched for a Ferrari F40, Google will piece together the information about the last car that Enzo designed and not link it to Lola Ferrari, the aging porn star with incredible headlights.

Names and terms gets associated with a dossier of information as opposed to data. It is sort of like what the NSA does when they decide to open a file on you. They would have your history, achievements, pet peeves and what you are doing now.


Knowledge Graph is already live as you can see. Search for something notable and Google will be at your command to dig up as much as it can and even gives you the option to be updated on Google Now cards. As soon as Google digs up new content, you will be notified. Neat.

Content optimization will play a crucial role in the future of SEO. No more tricking Google with Black Hat strategies or hiring writers who just write a nonsensical bunch of keywords to help boost traffic. It is time you ante up on those online cost and it’s not software that you need but  people who can developed real content.