Google announced today that it quietly released its “Hummingbird” search algorithm about a month ago – we’ve been using it and didn’t even know it! Hummingbird is a completely new search software. Unlike Panda or Penguin updates that we experienced in the past year, Hummingbird isn’t just an update, but a completely new set of code.
So does this mean that PageRank is finally dead? The answer is NO. PageRank is one of over 200 factors that comprise the Hummingbird formula. Getting other people to “vote” for your content by linking to it remains an important factor in getting found by Google.
For example, here is a great article on Google’s Hummingbird release: http://searchengineland.com/google-hummingbird-172816. Not only does this have good information, but I just voted for them! PageRank is still important.
One of the big reasons for the change is that people are asking more complex questions, especially when using voice-queries.
With so many people using their smart phones to access the internet, Google needed a better way to handle the questions it was being asked. This goes along Google’s general move towards ranking sites that are mobile-friendly (see: http://webstoresltd.com/google-says-fix-your-mobile-website-or-else/).
Once again we are reminded that when dealing with Internet marketing, the only constant is change.