Google’s New Hummingbird Algorithm & Keyword Locking

Google’s New Hummingbird Algorithm & Keyword Locking

Posted by Mark Gadala | September 27, 2013 | SEO

It’s been over a month since the last blog post and with all the recent news in the SEO world it seems like a great time to write a new one :).

Everything is Now (not provided)

The first new development is Google’s switch to encrypt ALL keyword data for searches, this comes as no surprise to those of us who have been working in the SEO world for some time now as we have seen a gradual decrease in Google’s willingness to share keyword data. This all started in 2011 when Google anounced that they would be concealing keyword data for any users that are logged into Google, thus birthing the (not provided) fiasco. So if you are logged into Google and you make a search query that lands you on my site all I get in Google Analytics is something like this:

But now regardless of being signed into Google or not, your search will now appear as (not provided) in Google Analytics. What does this mean for SEO’s and Inbound Marketers? A lot more work… Basically without this valuable keyword data our job as Webmaster’s/SEO’s now becomes increasingly more difficult. Instead of quickly and easily being able to determine which keywords are providing the lowest bounce rate and highest time on site we are now left to guess.


In my humble opinion we should continue to expect less keyword data from Google, after they switched to the “Keyword Planner” as opposed to everyone’s favorite Keyword Tool and now the switch to no Keyword data in Analytics this seems to be a growing trend.

Hummingbird Algorithm

Google anounced today that they have switched their old algorithm for a new and improved algorithm called “Hummingbird”, this new algorithm according to Google will return better results at faster speeds. This does not necessarily mean that they have done away with their old “PageRank” algorithm, in fact it is one of the main factors driving the new Hummingbird alogrithm.


The real shocker was not that they have made this change, but that it happened over a month ago. This is good and bad news for SEO’s, if you haven’t seen a loss of traffic in the last month than everything should be peachy, if have had a loss in traffic then you now have another clue as to why that might have happened.

It is important to note that this differs from Google’s recent Panda and Penguin updates in that it is not an update to their existing algorithm, it is an entirely new algorithm with many of the old one features still in place.

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