“Penguin” A new version, 2.0 out early this year was mainly about deflecting the impact of link aggregators and those who lift page rank by purchasing links, exchagning them with other meaningless sites or otherwise – by design – attempt to increase page ranking by exploiting features of dated search algorithms.
“Hummingbird” is a complete reinvention of the search results calculations / algorithm to favor natural language. (Well, in summary anyway.) It’s launch is thought to have been in August. Why don’t we know, actually? Googles’ secrecy is critical to their success in promoting valuable content over otherwise meaninglessness and harmful, waste.
I’ve heard it elsewhere analogized something like this: Your car engine has 250K miles on it. It doesn’t use the newest fuel. It pollutes and stinks up things. So you replace your car engine, maybe with a hydrogen fuel cell and electric drive.
That’s how different Hummingbird is from the previous system that analyzed websites for thier “fit” relative to the “search phrases” people used in thier effort to “find things” on the Internet.
Elsewhere in this blog I’ve alluded to “Natural Language” and how the new search algorithms will be tuned to accomplish locating better results by learning how we speak our questions. This will continue.