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It’s Hummingbird World: Why Responsive Design Matters

Hummingbird: New features for Mobile users.

hummingbirdSince the beginning of web search engines, developers have been striving to design new and effective search algorithms to improve search results. Google has continually stayed one step ahead among competitors, and its latest search algorithm, Hummingbird, continues that practice. On September 26, 2013, Google’s 15-year anniversary, Google shook up the world of search engine with its formal unveiling of Hummingbird Search Algorithm. To increase market share for mobile internet search, Google has added new features in this search algorithm. Now, one question that would be baffling in your mind that how this algorithm benefit mobile phone uses? Well, the answer is quite simple.

This new algorithm of Google is a direct response to mobile web browsing technology; in which, users ask questions quite differently. While using mobile device, you may be more inclined to use voice search, and your query might be more complicated. With Hummingbird in place, now Google can provide even better results for the mobile searchers.

To make your search task hassle-free in mobile phones, this version will provide more relevant results for query based searches in a much more natural and conversational manner. The trend of spoken queries on smartphones has had a huge impact on how search is conducted and now in the way Google’s Hummingbird provides the answers. Consider a query-based search: “Where can I buy the best kitchenware?”

Hummingbird algorithm adds a layer of understanding to the query provided by the user that acts more like an expansion of the query, so that its meaning is clearer. Google interprets the query as the following:

Where (Place: User is located) can I buy (Intent: Purchase) the best kitchenware (Product: kitchenware items).

In this way, the new algorithm of Google optimizes the results to answer the more frequent and complex query-based searches that its users perform.

How it works?

Hummingbird is innovatively designed to handle complex voice based searches; hence, this algorithm can understand the relative importance of the different words within the search query. Previously, Google would ignore few words in a search, but with Hummingbird, it now considers all words in order to better understand the context of the search. With this version, we can say that the old days of scanning websites for keywords are gone, as it places more weight on the users’ experience.

Creating a Hummingbird-friendly website

If you really want to create a hummingbird friendly website then stop worrying about keyword density and start focusing on the user experience. You should provide content which is highly informative, accurate and answers your visitors’ questions. One can use a tool like Google Analytics in order to measure average time spent by the visitors on site, bounce rate and exit rate. You can also encourage visitors to share your site’s content through social media that will create awareness of your website among people. So, just go back and update your site’s existing content and polish each and every piece of content.

Mobile-friendly Sites are increasingly important

As smartphone and tablet adoption rapidly increases, people are increasingly looking forward to buy everything through their tablets and mobile phones. In fact, Matt Cutts, who leads the Webspam team at Google, said “we should be busting our butt to make our sites mobile friendly.” Most interestingly, according to study from Google that is conducted by Sterling Research and SmithGeiger, 61% of people said that they’d quickly move onto another website if they did not find what they were searching for right away on a mobile site. Therefore, if you want to turn visitors into customers, then you need to have mobile friendly sites. Users keep looking for a mobile-friendly site until they find the website that works for them which means your competitors will definitely benefit if your website falls down on the job. A website that is not designed for mobile can leave its users feeling frustrated and the negative reactions translate directly to the brands value of company.

How to design mobile-friendly websites?

Now it is clear that the digital online world has adopted the mobile friendly idea. According to Janine Warner, a globally recognized digital design and Internet trends consultant, “Nearly every business needs to adapt to reach consumers effectively on any screen.” Further, there are two basic strategies for designing sites that display well on all mobile devices: adaptive and responsive, and the responsive websites are the best bet for most businesses.

What is Responsive Design and how it works?

Responsive, a hummingbird-friendly website design, is an affordable solution which uses CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) technology for creating a single version of website that auto-adjusts to display content accurately on all mobile devices except the oldest cell-phones. No matter how small the display area, the responsive web design looks good and is easy to read. Owing to huge importance, these days, responsive design is on the lips of every web designer and marketer. The key to responsive design is CSS, which is a design language that describes the look and formatting of an HTML web page. CSS saves web developers precious time as well as energy by allowing them to create a fixed number of style profiles, which can be applied to all the pages of a particular website in one fell swoop.

In the case of mobile, CSS also includes “media queries,” which allow a page on website to determine the screen resolution and size of the device you’re using to view it. After that, the web page can apply the appropriate CSS profile and custom fit the layout to your needs. The end result is a website that “responds” to visitors and gives them the best version of your site.

Why responsive design is Hummingbird friendly?

In latest algorithm update of Google, Hummingbird, they have worked to clarify and test sites that are built with a responsive design and are purportedly giving elevated search results to the businesses that have it. Responsive design is Google’s recommended configuration and it removes the possible glitches of user-agent detection and also frees the users from redirects. In addition to this, Google is using to measure end user experience through its various tools and if a user lands on your site and do not like what they are looking then they can and usually will leave your website quickly.


Sandeep Sharma is a creative head at He has more than 15 years experience in the web designing domain. He is leading the team of more than 25 web designers in the company. All Web Design Projects of the company start and finish with him. You can follow him on Twitter and Google Plus.