Just like it does on a regular basis, this week Google released a new update for it's search engine ranking algorithm. This recent update is called "Hummingbord"
The Hummingbird update expands Google's use of its Knowledge Graph, which it added last year as a way to help its search engine grasp relationships between concepts rather than matching keywords. The Knowledge Graph structures data, so that a search for, Leonardo da Vinci, returns facts about his contributions to science and art, his life, family and other related information, not all of which are necessarily contained on the same site or page.
Hummingbird expands use of the Knowledge Graph so the search engine can provide answers which don't always have simple answers. In his blog post, Amit Singhal, senior VP of Google Search, discusses a search where he states "Tell me about Impressionist artists," and gets a broad set of facts when using a mobile device on the search engine.
The Knowledge Graph also helps the engine deal with follow-up questions related to a previous search. For example, if you ask the for "pictures of the Sydney Opera House" and then ask, "How far is it?", Google will know you're referring to the Sydney Opera House and tell you how far you are from it instead of performing an unrelated search.
The update also introduces a new comparison tool - which allows you to ask the engine to compare the decaf coffee and regular coffee - getting caffeine content information and health research on the benefits of each.
As always, there are a number of tweaks to the internal ranking systems - which Google guards and never releases details of.
So how are you watching your website to determine how the recent changes affect you and your business?