Q: Google has recently released the new algorithm Hummingbird, which is a move towards semantic search. Is the new algorithm an indication of the start of the end of keyword-based SEO?
A: Hummingbird is more about long tail keywords than a few short keywords, intended to deliver precise & quick information to the searcher.
Before we get into the details of Hummingbird, let’s discuss the other algorithmic updates by Google:
- If we look at the updates since 1999, one thing is clear that the basic rules of SEO change slowly. Good tag structure, relevant links, keyword-specific content, all these have survived since beginning.
- Google like any other tech company would love to boost its stock price. So, it would make an attempt to introduce a revolutionary product/change every time. While some of its products indeed are revolutionary, others are not. In case of Hummingbird, it’s too early to say anything.
- An update is often over-hyped at the beginning, before anybody is able to figure out what has exactly happened.
You must check your rank on Google searches. If you are impacted by the Hummingbird, there will be a change in the ranking. However, a major change in the ranking has not been observed post-update.
I would rather advise you to pay more attention to what Google is saying about the update and not those from the SEO industry. As per the original Hummingbird announcement, it is a SIRI-like interface change, oriented towards natural speech. Since, mobile and intelligence are two major focus areas of Google, so Hummingbird will not be of much change to the Google database but will change how natural speech is interpreted.