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Google Search Engine Core Called Hummingbird

     
6:43 pm on Sep 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Google changed its underlying search engine technology about a month ago. The new version's called Hummingbird, and the change was made to better answer the complex questions so many of us are asking Google these days. Since the switch, Hummingbird's been put to use in over ninety percent of worldwide searches and positions Google to stay on top of its game for the foreseeable future. It's the culmination of 15 years of work, but Singhal says it's just the next step in Search's evolution, so we can expect more of the same in the next 15.

[engadget.com...]

6:50 pm on Sept 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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If this relates to giving the answer in the first space under the input box, then yep, I'm seeing that. Yesterday asked what is the age of so-and-so and there it was. Happened on a few other inquiries the past days or weeks. Yes it's been there before on obvious type inquiries, but even moreso now imo. I'll keep my editorializing at bay because I don't need to say it.

I think if you really look at this, it's time to rethink overall webmastering strategy and expectations moving forward. For people seeing traffic drops, perhaps you were answering questions that are now answerable within the search results themselves.
6:58 pm on Sept 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Strange this, I did a search for a product made by a massive software corp with the query.

what is Software corp product?

It answered with the correct product and a description of what the product does with the website that provided the information below.

Off I went to the website expecting a fantastic site - nope basic template and no markup that would make Google select the site as the "information donor". The page was a glossary of terms.
7:10 pm on Sept 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for posting Brett
7:26 pm on Sept 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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This can explain the drastic dances that happened within the last month or so. The initial roll out plus all the fine tune tweaking. Around the 4th and then the 17~19th.

Don't think it's coincidental that this rolls out together with taking out search query data. Now makes it even harder to reverse engineer why and how a page can rank for certain long tails.

It is exciting however for smaller publishers as long as they can satisfy some "unknown" complex queries.
8:24 pm on Sept 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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And the hummingbird's been flitting from serps to serps.

I hope it settles, somewhere, and soon.
10:01 pm on Sept 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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We noticed the change last month, all our traffic lost since Nov '12 was regained suddenly.. All of the disastrous stats (down to 50%) during 2013 1st,2nd part were reversed in a week or two.

For us it happened around the 5-6th - and literally ramped up and up till we were back to near 'normal'.
1:35 am on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I've been seeing a gradual but obvious increase in average search rankings (as reported by WMT) in the past few weeks. Coincidence? Maybe. At least rankings are headed in the right direction for a change.
8:01 am on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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:: memo to self: bring camera to library again ::

Yesterday's logs were twice as fat as usual ... and as far as I can make out, it's purely because lots and lots of people visited. Sip away, hummingbird.
8:23 am on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I'm being told many of the same people (the UGC crowd, volunteer sites, big traffic, specific choice to avoid SEO in general, pre-2010 guideliners) are coming back traffic-wise. We had a horrible ride over the last 12-ish months, being replaced by cheap SEO tactics and random 'thin' content.

I have learnt 2 things:

1 - Don't trust Google
2 - WebmasterWorld doesn't criticise Google enough. They had broken SERPS, obvious and clear. We should have ALL yelled louder.
8:26 am on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I would have caled it Mockingbird personally
9:17 am on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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So, in conspiracy theory mode, is the underlying search algorithm rolled back but a new query parsing and handling algorithm in place?

Regards...jmcc
9:40 am on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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"conspiracy theory mode"? please explain.
9:58 am on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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"conspiracy theory mode"? please explain.


Not to put words in jmcc's mouth but I think this is what we've been talking about since the comment's were made about how great the Enterprise computer was.
google is moving away from being and content curator and towards being a content creator.
10:05 am on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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i would agree to what hitchhiker said.

2 - WebmasterWorld doesn't criticise Google enough. They had broken SERPS, obvious and clear. We should have ALL yelled louder.


When something is wrong, we should tell that its wrong. Google has done lot of wrong things in the recent few months.
10:07 am on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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google is moving away from being and content curator and towards being a content creator.

Dont really think they are creating content - call them a content scraper - absolutely. At the moment they are nicking it from Wikipedia mainly, of course if wikipedia complains too much bang go their rankings.
10:24 am on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Hi All,

So this new Google hummingbird algo change, what is it all about? I didn't see a clear explanation of what it's about anywhere online but mentioning it as "Conversational"

I ask Google questions by clicking on the mic symbol and it reads out the answer back to me. Is that this change all about?


Thanks!
10:54 am on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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"conspiracy theory mode"? please explain.
Well I used to be a journalist in a past life and that has made me deeply cynical about any media coverage of Google. That's because good public relations people can play the technology churnalists (the journalists who have no background in technology and just recycle press releases) like finely tuned musical instruments. Thus the conspiracy theory would be that Google is taking advantage of the rollout of a new query parser to remove some of its recent mistakes. It may have made some progress on dealing with spam links which might lead to a return to the older link weighting factor in its algorithm.

Regards...jmcc

[edited by: jmccormac at 10:59 am (utc) on Sep 27, 2013]

10:58 am on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Not to put words in jmcc's mouth but I think this is what we've been talking about since the comment's were made about how great the Enterprise computer was.
google is moving away from being and content curator and towards being a content creator.
That's another one, Shepherd. :)
Google has made some purchases of deep content sites that would make its website stickier as searchers would be directed to Google properties rather than other sites. It is the old Yahoo/AOL portal strategy.

Regards...jmcc
12:00 pm on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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It's the culmination of 15 years of work


If that's true, and we can expect more of the same over the next 15 years, then technology has severely let us down.

G have simply scraped Wikipedia, word for word in many cases. If G are seriously going to keep this format then they are walking down a road full of erroneous and misleading information.

The G SERPS for mobiles has now changed into Wikigoog for many searches. If that's what Jo Public wants then for many subjects the world wide web has just suffered a near fatal blow.
1:17 pm on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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An example offered by the Google team is actually worth analyzing further.

The search query is "How tall is the Eiffel tower?" The answer given is technically wrong.

Firstly does it include the mast? The towers height also varies in summer and winter. A good website would cover these facts but Google give a simplistic scraped answer with no explanation of how they arrived at the given figure.

Information taken from websites is now provided without any reference to the websites they were taken from so can't be verified or researched further.

As voice search takes over Google will I'm sure just provide their own responses to questions SIRI style. For the end user I'm sure this is all fantastic stuff but as a webmaster who wrote material and who is seeing a drastic drop in traffic and revenue I just despair. I've not added fresh content to my sites in quite a while because it's not economically viable to do so! What will Google do when no-one is left writing material for them to scrape to get these answers?

Google will be the internet in a few years time if Hummingbird is anything to go by.
1:23 pm on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Honestly? It seems cr@p. A gimmick as far as I am concerned. Maybe it will become something more? Hardly worthy of the fuss they have made over it IMO.
1:33 pm on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I'm actually starting to take offense with Google's using the names of beautiful animals as measures of their algorithm, in no way do I associate Google with a hummingbird. If hummingbirds could sue...

While I'm sure Google is making changes I am not seeing anything but big brands in many keyword searches I care for, still.
1:42 pm on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Isn't this algo update more about providing a black box in result spot #1 with the answer for your inquiry? Or am I way off base here.

Somebody mentioned that height of Eiffel tower being wrong. If you noticed, there is a link there where you can "report" incorrect information. Of course that's assuming that you actually know the answer yourself and are 100% right. If you get 50% of people who are wrong, but report the right answer as being wrong, I think you see where it's headed.

I can't say what I agree with in this thread, but I agree 100% on what's being said in some instances.

I'm finding this (current SERPS) to be a Goog directory. That's just an honest critique.
2:04 pm on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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It can answer "what is a porsche spyder" but not "what is a porsche 918" (porsche 918 being the spyder). Fail.
2:25 pm on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Somebody mentioned that height of Eiffel tower being wrong. If you noticed, there is a link there where you can "report" incorrect information. Of course that's assuming that you actually know the answer yourself and are 100% right. If you get 50% of people who are wrong, but report the right answer as being wrong, I think you see where it's headed.


Call me crazy, but if somebody already knows the answer for a fact, why would they even bother doing the search in the first place?

Google placing that link for the right answer is their admission that their new algo pretty much stinks.

Do they think people have nothing better to do than sit around and report how wrong their results are?
2:39 pm on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Google changed its underlying search engine technology about a month ago


Wasn't there a short Google outage about a month ago? Related?
2:45 pm on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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So much for “precise and fast.” 50 percent true I suppose.
3:39 pm on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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My traffic has increased in the last month or so, but I couldn't see why exactly. This must be it.
3:44 pm on Sept 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I'm wondering where is our good friend Matt Cutts from all the celebrations and talk about Hummingbird?

What's the reason for Matt Cutts total absence?
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