Answering Questions about Google Hummingbird

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The launch of Google Hummingbird in September 2013 has raised quite a few questions, just as Panda and Penguin did before it. Unfortunately, the most honest and shortest answer to frequently asked questions about Hummingbird will be “your results may vary”, as there are unique variables for each industry, niche and website. Having said this, it still warrants an endevour to address these concerns more closely, so here are some general answers to common Google Hummingbird questions that SEO minded brands and businesses may be asking.

What is the Google Hummingbird Knowledge Graph?

The Knowledge Graph is a system launched by Google in May 2012, before Google Hummingbird was formally introduced. The Knowledge Graph connects the relationships between various facts and objects around the web, in order to help users:

  • Find the right thing
  • Get the best summary
  • Go deeper and broader

This is according to Google SVP of Engineering Search Amit Singhal. In a May 2012 blog post, Singhal said that the Knowledge Graph “understands real-world entities and their relationships to one another: things, not strings.” The graph retrieves information from public sources such as Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook, in addition to other unnamed sources that help it focus on what he calls “comprehensive breadth and depth.”

“It currently contains more than 500 million objects, as well as more than 3.5 billion facts about and relationships between these different objects,” Singhal said. “And it’s tuned based on what people search for, and what we find out on the web.” Without the Knowledge Graph, there would be no Google Hummingbird.

Will Google Hummingbird kill my rankings?

Only if you were not already actively engaged in creating good content. If you fail to refresh your website content regularly, then Google Hummingbird could affect your rankings – but honestly, if you neglect your content then your rankings were probably not great to begin with.

On the other hand, if you are diligent about refreshing content and you have done a good job of turning your website into a knowledge base for readers, then the “semantics search” focus of Hummingbird is probably going to work in your favor.

Will Google Hummingbird kill SEO?

For experienced SEO companies, this question is no surprise. Every change introduced by Google, from the introduction of Panda and Penguin to the slow phasing out of Page Rank has led to this question being asked. In response, SEO blogs are constantly assuring readers that SEO is still alive and well – just changing, like it always does.

Google placing a greater emphasis on conversational search does not mean the death of SEO any more than Netflix means the death of movie theaters. It just forces content creators to devote more effort to analyzing what searchers want to know.

More Answers to Your Google Hummingbird Questions

If you have more questions on Google Hummingbird, a knowledgeable SEO expert can help. Don’t rely on the casual opinions of fly-by-night SEO companies; contact a qualified Los Angeles SEO company with years of experience. We look forward to your call!


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