- Content Marketing
When Your Customers Become Your Contributors: Brand Journalism Meets TraditionalGoogle Is Changing the Close Variant Matching Option in AdWordsBefore You Invest in Online Advertising, Do This!Native Advertising: The New New Thing or a Race to the Bottom? [VIDEO]
Technology & Data
Data and Creativity at the Social Shake Up: Defining Your Data-Driven Social CampaignTalking Strategy and Data with Shannon Lee of Precision StrategiesNew IBM Study Reveals 3 Key Characteristics of the Most Successful CompaniesMinority Report: Confronting Privacy Issues in Big Data Gathering
- Tech & Innovation
- marketing automation
Social Startups: Moment.me Captures a 360-Degree View of The Social Shake-Up 2014Hootsuite Partners With Syracuse University to Bring Social Media Savvy to College StudentsThe Best Hyperlapse VideosThe Best Content Moderation Tools for Busy People Who Don't Have Time for That
Social Change Agent Survey: Passion, Skill Set, and Persistence Lead to Career Growth#SocBizShakeUp: Sandy Carter at The Social Shake-UpThe Social Shake-Up: How CMOs Drive Innovation and Revenue GrowthThe Social Shake-Up: The Future of Social Business
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Recap from the First-Ever Employee Advocacy SummitFormer IBM Senior Advisors Launch Brands Rising to Build Employee Advocacy ProgramsPerformance and Risk Management Through Social Media TrainingEmployee Advocacy Summit: Advocate Stories from the Field
- Customer Service
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
What Google's Hummingbird Update Really Means
Posted on September 28th 2013
If there was any doubt about the speed at which Google is developing semantic search at a global level, the announcement of Hummingbird, Google’s latest semantic algorithm update, should make everyone sit up and take notice.
Timed to coincide with the celebration of Google’s fifteenth birthday, Hummingbird takes semantic search, which is all about natural language processing and search query intent, and adds three new levels to it.
Complexity – Semantic search is all about machine intelligence. Hummingbird renders Google search capable of handling much more complex search queries in an even deeper search-query related way so that first, successive search queries about the same topic (from Eiffel Tower’s height, age, history and construction to Justin Bieber’s marital status) are now analysed and linked so you do not have to provide the same key terms to search for things. The complexity of this that takes search query data, understands it, links it and retains it and then answers it through the Knowledge Graph, is reflected in the next two levels of Hummingbird.
Comparison – With the adjustment of the algorithm to account for more complex search queries Hummingbird can now turn Google from a search engine to a Comparison Engine, at a voice command. This used to be the role reserved for the end-user: you would do two searches, find the best results of each and then manually compare them to make a decision or get the information you needed. Now, the leg work is done by Hummingbird. “Empire State Building vs Sears”, for example brings up a comparison chart of the stats between the two buildings and a comparison of their height. “Olive oil vs Butter” compares the nutritional facts of the two food substances.
Prediction - More complex search queries, once they’re understood, provide greater data to Google search that can be used to widen and deepen the search results. “Museum Art History” can bring up local museums and links leading to Expressionists, Cubists and Impressionists, art movements that, should they appear, are linked to the local exhibits. This broadens the search inspired knowledge horizon making the use of search a more fulfilling experience.
The takeaway here is that search is getting smarter. With Hummingbird, which affects 90% of searches worldwide, Google will serve more semantic search results and, by the same token, collect more complex search query data that will be used to hasten the next iteration of semantic search. More search results are being served as a result. Businesses that used to rely on simple keyword strategy to rank in search will find themselves in a tailspin, particularly since Google has stopped reporting keywords in Google Analytics making it harder than ever to create a comprehensive SEO strategy around them.
This is a real transition from “strings to things” where search understands concepts rather than just words.
For a fuller introduction to the intricacies of Semantic Search check out: