The New Hummingbird Algorithm from Google

Google does it again. They have tweaked their search engine’s algorithm once more. In hummingbird_Algorithm_Google_SEOcase, you are wondering, Hummingbird has been quietly running Google’s search results for the past month. So whatever changes you’ve seen to your site’s search engine rankings, were as a results of not Panda or Penguin, but Hummingbird.

If you are wondering about that old Pagerank system, it is still very much alive and well, and it is part of the 200 different factors that make up Hummingbird’s search algorithm. Here are the most important factors you will need to be concerned with when it comes to Hummingbird:

  • The quality of links pointing to your site
  • The words used on your site
  • The naming convention of your filename
  • The length of time people spend on your site
  • The popularity of your site (how many times was it shared and bookmarked)
  • The social media signals sent to your site (how many shares, re-tweets etc)
  • How unique is your content

You have probably seen most of these factors before, but the weight added to each has intensified. So where before you may have gotten away with writing some gibberish generated from article spinners (we at strongly recommend you stay far away from any automated software when it comes to SEO), and generating links from blogs and forums, with words around those links to make them seem legitimate; well all of those passé SEO methods are now gone.

What to Avoid Like the Plague in Hummingbird:

  1. Press releases that have follow links back to your site.
  2. Forum links that have follow links back to your site.
  3. Blog links that have follow links back to your site.
  4. Article submission sites that follow links back to your site.

If you have any of the above five, even if you had those links from YEARS ago, and you are now not seeing your site ranked prominently on Google, but you were ranked prominently prior to the Hummingbird update (9/26/13), then you have been hit with a penalty.

How to Resolve a Penalty in Hummingbird:

To resolve the penalty in Hummingbird, contact any companies that you hired that did the press releases, article submissions, link exchanges, forum, and/or blog backlinking and ask them to immediately drop those links. If that is not possible (those companies are now out of business), try to get those links dropped yourself by contacting those sites directly. Do a Whois lookup and contact each entity; request that your links get dropped. It doesn’t matter if you had just one backlink from a “bad” press release, if Google identified that press release site as spam, all links on that site may be penalized.

Happy SEOing!