When Google announced at the end of September that Hummingbird had been live for a month or so, many questioned how such a significant change could have happened without it having been detected earlier.
Amit Singhal, Head of Google’s ranking team, talked about Hummingbird being the first time a completely new algorithm had been implemented since 2001 and that it impacted 90% of search queries.
However, the visible impact of this algorithm change has been less significant than many recent algorithm updates, such as the May 2012 Penguin update.
At the end of September, Google confirmed the roll-out of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encrypted search to all users.
In short, this means that keyword-level data for organic (non-paid) Google traffic will no longer be provided. Consequently, website owners will no longer be able to view the keywords a visitor used in Google to find their website.
This announcement from Google will have a huge impact on the industry, with search marketers around the world rethinking metrics to track SEO performance.
Paid search only accounts for 6% of total clicks from search engines versus natural search at 94% of clicks, according to research from GroupM UK carried out with Nielsen.
Also, women are slightly more prone to clicking on paid search results than males, and, as age increases, so does the likelihood of clicking on paid search results.
The research, based on 28m people in the UK, making a total of 1.4bn search queries during June 2011, is the first in the UK to reveal click through rate (CTR) by natural search position for both brand and non-brand search terms and how these CTRs change by vertical.
MEC has contributed to a white paper which will be published by Linkdex that reveals ground-breaking findings about how the location a search is made from affects Google rankings.
67% of the time, if you rank in the top 30 for a keyword in one location you will not rank for that keyword across all other locations.
Also, when location is not set, the average keyword ranking deviates by four whole positions.
Well co-ordinated press releases over the past couple of weeks provide a hint at what Google has up its sleeve.
We believe it will mark one of the most significant changes to search engine marketing since AdWords was launched.
In fact, this could be the beginning of the end of search results as we know them...