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What is Google Hummingbird – new algorithm explained

Google HummingbirdCelebrating its 15th birthday with a new announcement in the garage where Google was originally founded, the search giant launched a new algorithm change called Hummingbird.

This is a major enhancement to the Knowledge Graph, which is Google’s way of understanding what we want to know. If you search for currency conversions, locations of buildings or celebrities the results are already tailored to show the answers right on the page.

The Knowledge Graph is designed to match intent with answers, so instead of having to select what you want to click on, Google may be able to give you the answer. The famous example of the Knowledge Graph was when you search for a famous person’s birthday – “How old is Nelson Mandela” returns the answer with his birthdate, as well as a profile and normal search results.

How old is Nelson Mandela

Hummingbird algorithm adds more power to “it”

What Google’s Hummingbird does is allow searches to be connected, with the word “it” being given more significance.

For example, if you search for “pictures of Taj Mahal”, you see a selection of images from Google Images at the top of the results.

Taj Mahal image search

Then if you type something like “who built it” or “how old is it?”, you would see another result related to the Taj Mahal. You could then ask further questions.

That’s the theory. It doesn’t work for me, yet, but Google does take time to fully roll out these things.

You can read more about it at Information Week or Forbes.

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