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Introduction to Googles’ Hummingbird Algorithm

Date Thursday, 10 October 2013 Michael Bunn , In: Digital Marketing

Introduction to Googles’ Hummingbird Algorithm

Accuracy in a search engine is vital. When the internet was still in its infancy, search engines provided only a handful of links from a web search result. However, as more and more users and businesses introduce themselves to the web, the internet has become a jumble of data. Search for a term as simple as “baby” and you could wind up with links to sites about human babies, baby wildlife, young pets, baby sea life, babies in literature, babies in films and television, baby dolls, or even the affectionate term of the word “baby”...

So how do you sort out what to look for in a maelstrom of online keywords and phrases? Enter the Hummingbird Algorithm by Google.

What Does Hummingbird Algorithm do Specifically?

Google has upgraded its search engine so that it can handle more complex inquiries from web users. This new algorithm helps to match concept and meanings in search terms at a much faster and more accurate fashion than traditional key-word based search engines.

Conversational Inquiries

It’s not simply a matter of searching for a specific key word anymore. With the Hummingbird algorithm, searchers can make inquiries in the form of conversational questions, such as:

  • How do I know if I’m having a heart attack?
  • Do I need to request a visa in advance before moving to Canada?
  • If my mother or father had Pancreatic Cancer, will I get it to?
  • How long will it take me to get from my current location in the Bronx to Manhattan by bus?
  • Is there a recipe for a butterless, eggless cake?
  • What is the best way to care for a newborn baby?

To put it simply, Hummingbird works great with conversational search queries.

Advanced Voice Queries

What was once considered science fiction is now science fact. The Hummingbird algorithm not only improves queries typed on a search engine. It also improves the quality of voice search inquiries on tablets, smartphones and computers equipped with voice recognition capabilities. So what does this mean? It means that a user can make an inquiry out loud and the search engine would provide a list of the requested term. For example, if you say “Statue of Liberty”, the search engine would provide you with links to the site or sites. It can even provide you with a voice response. Of course, the advantage of the Hummingbird algorithm is that you can tailor your search request into something like “hours of operation for Statue of Liberty”. This way you can get more specific results to your original inquiry.


The new algorithm is expected to allow users to have a conversational interaction with the Google search engine. With its capability of understanding the relationship between words, users can expect to get more precise results rather than a random search result of something that they never intended to look for.

Michael Bunn

Michael Bunn

Digital Director

Mike officially joined Blue Frontier in 2015 when the company acquired Dynamics Digital. Mike was the founder of DD and built the business up single-handedly. He combines genuine, market leading expertise with strong leadership and heads up the Blue Frontier Digital Team. The addition of the skills and experience of DD has meant that Blue Frontier can now offer a full end-to-end digital service. Mike sits on the board of directors, and is instrumental in guiding BF marketing strategy.

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