September 26 2013 – Google announced that the Hummingbird algorithm update has already been in the wild for a month.

It affects 90% of all searches – there were over ONE TRILLION SEARCHES ON GOOGLE IN 2012

“The artificial intelligence dream is being built inside Google” they are trying to reach “a human level understanding of language” according to Amit Singhal of Google “understanding better what users expect from Google, what they are asking , and then fulfilling it via algorithms”.


Here is the link to the BBC video hummingbird algorithm interview with Amit Singhal.

Interestingly, unlike the previous Panda and Penguin updates this update seems to have gone unnoticed. Because a search for “acid reflux prescription” that a month ago listed a page of drugs to treat the disease, Google now says the results have information about treatment and if you even need drugs.

Our search queries have changed over time as we have become experienced searchers, and also due and Mobile technology.

Indeed, while search phrase length continues to increase, we are searching less for “movies” and more for “movie playing this weekend in Montreal”  on mobile they may be a bit shorter but all searches are getting more natural, more like the way we really talk.

Now if you have heard me mention the importance Natural Language Processing, or maybe you remember it as Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI), in our Advanced SEO Workshop and have applied the technique you may have noticed more good results following this new update.

Which means Google is now even better at understanding concepts and the relationships between them, rather than simply the words. This is about the theme of a page. This is a page specific influence.

Your web pages must talk to your customers in the language they use, which is the language they use to search with. However since your customers may use different synonyms – car, auto, automobile or vehicle –  be sure to use them in your web copy as well.