The 27th of September 2013 marked Google’s 15th birthday. Sorry I’m a bit late to mention it, but it was my birthday on the 29th (way more important than Google’s!) and the 27th was our Friday team lunch (which even beats my birthday)!
However, unlike us, Google didn’t go out for lunch, instead they changed the doodle to a hit the pinata game and announced its new search algorithm, ‘Hummingbird’.
The algorithm that was actually rolled out a month ago affects 90% of searches and is designed to handle more complicated and abstract queries.
Instead of just matching keywords, Hummingbird look at the conversational questions and phrases. Then it tries to understand the meaning and relationship of things and words within sentences. So when you type in a search, Google will now look at all the words within the sentance and the whole sentance rather than just certain keywords within the sentance.
Google gave some examples of how it has changed and this is one:
- A search for “pizza hut calories per slice” used to list an answer like this, Google said, but not one from Pizza Hut. Now, it lists this answer directly from Pizza Hut itself, Google says.
You may or may not have noticed a difference, but the change occurred about a month ago, so if you noticed a change in traffic, this may have been why!