Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) revealed today that it has made a massive change to the algorithm that its search offering works on. When Google changes its search algorithm it can cause havoc for those trying to drive traffic to their site. Luckily search engine lovers have already found out  much of what makes the Hummingbird tick, and have boiled it down to the basics for web designers.

Google Hummingbird

According to over at the new algorithm has been in use for more than a month on computers around the world and about 90% of current Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) search requests are completed by the new algorithm. Here’s a look at some of the features, and some common misconceptions.

Need To Know:

What’s an algorithm? It’s the computer program that understands what you’re searching for and references its list of internet sources to find it.

How is it new? This algorithm isn’t really new so much as it’s a substantive change to the way Google works. The program still contains a lot of the tools that older versions had and it’s not been designed from the ground up.

But What About Me? Depending on who you are and what you do, Hummingbird could be a minor improvement, a massive one or  big disaster. It will affect web developers the most as they try to reshape themselves to find the best way to get content seen. For regular internet users the new algorithm may mean slightly better search results in future.

Is Google Pagerank Dead?

Pagerank has been one of the more controversial systems that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) uses to pick the best search results. Some analysts have pointed to pagerank as one of the most easily manipulated parts of the algorithm. Because of the controversy everyone seems to believe that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is going to get rid of pagerank. They haven’t. It’s still part of Hummingbird.

Context is everything for Google

The new Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) search algorithm is supposed to do something that Google has been promising for years. According to the company it will do its best to interpret the meaning of sentences rather than simply look for the component words.

That means that the new search function should be better at interpreting sentences, including those spoken by users. With voice recognition technology reaching new heights every year, it is clear that search isn’t going to be done with fingers forever.

Voice controlled search will need to be able to interpret sentences because people do not speak in Boolean terms. The Hummingbird algorithm from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is supposed to take on that task.

The bottom line is that the way people search is changing and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is doing everything it can to change along with them. Google says what it always says about SEO in Hummingbird. It’s the same, all the company is looking for is high quality content and nothing more.