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The different names Google has for algorithms gives a persona to an enigma. In “Feeding the Hummingbird: Structured Markup Isn’t The Only Way To Talk To Google“, Moz Blog contributor Cyrus Shepard says,

“Ever wonder why Google named certain algorithms after black and white animals (i.e. black hat vs. white hat?) Hummingbird is a broader algorithm altogether, and Hummingbirds can be any color of the rainbow.”

Panda and Penguin were going after webspam. Hummingbird is designed to optimize entity-based search. That means the Hummingbird algorithm is looking at what is said, how the keywords are placed, etc. Since Google uses over 500 algorithms and each one is going after different information, the exact “secret formula” for SEO is always going to be a secret. In fact, since those algorithms are constantly adjusted in an attempt to improve search, the secret formula keeps changing.

The nice thing that is pointed out, though, is that Hummingbird looks at more than the SEO savvy markup and can figure out relationship without it. This is natural search results instead of formulas.

Feeding the Hummingbird

Here’s a quick list of what is important to this algorithm:

  1. keywords (subject-predicate-object triples)
  2. tables & HTML elements
  3. entities & synonyms
  4. anchor text & links
  5. Google Local
  6. Google Structured Data Highlighter
  7. Plugins

All of the elements are balanced and weighted to figure out how to do Hummingbird’s part of the whole secret zoo at Google. Each one of the algorithms plays a role in where your data comes up on the page. Interesting, isn’t it? The thing to remember is that there’s a big difference between trying to play the system and trying to get quality content available for your audience. Google is always going after the players because they want to stay relevant to the rest of us.

For more information on optimizing your site for natural search results, visit  http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/search-engine-optimization.php.

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