Hummingbird reinforced everything that had been done through Google Panda and Penguin, but added two specific dimensions. Announced in late 2013, Hummingbird introduced the importance of mobile devices to search. For the first time, mobile responsive designs clearly have taken on increased importance. Many have argued that it’s also critical to have a mobile content strategy: that is, to assume that readers will be accessing your content from a variety of devices including smartphones and tablets and creating your content with a mobile-first mindset.
The second, and perhaps more exciting, component of Hummingbird was the introduction of contextual search. Until Hummingbird, search engines typically interpreted queries using what it identified as the most important keywords from a search. But with Hummingbird’s introduction, Google has begun to look at the relationship between terms to interpret context.
Many considered Hummingbird a natural evolution both of Google’s development and of the proliferation of mobile devices. After being in business for 15 years, Google’s developed an incredibly rich and sophisticated Knowledge Graph (or major database of all the information that it’s collected). As more and more users search on mobile devices, searches are evolving from short keyword driven inquiries to being structured the way we naturally speak and ask questions. Hummingbird is helping to ensure that Google is poised to understand and meet that demand.
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