Yesterday, on Google’s 15th Birthday Celebration Google announced a MAJOR update to it’s algorithm affecting 90% of searches named: Hummingbird (because it’s nimble and fast apparently). The update actually quietly hit a month ago and is designed to give better results of conversational queries such as questions for example:
Where’s the closest place I can buy a flux capacitor?
My first thoughts are this:
Thank goodness it’s not another update that begins with the letter ‘P’ Penguin, Panda I’m tired of seeing pictures of these animals on every other SEO post I read so a hummingbird will be a welcome change and will add a new depth to SEO.
My Second thoughts:
This is a good thing: the Hummingbird update will focus more on the meaning of words and location of your home or place of work (If you’ve given Google that info) it may understand if you are searching for something “near my home” or if you search for a term that mentions “place” it may understand you mean a physical place.
What does this mean for your website SEO?
If you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines you’ll be fine. If you are an algorithm chaser / loop hole finder, you may have issues. I’ve just looked through a batch of 20 websites and none appear to be noticeably affected in a negative way.