On Google Hummingbird
When Google announces they have a new update or change in algorithms, it means it's been rolled out and tested for millions without our knowledge for a good while now. The new change is very significant because unlike Panda, which is just an update on an existing algorithm, Hummingbird is an overall switch.
The trend is also about mobile. Most users nowadays search using their mobile devices. It's a big advantage for Google to focus on providing answers instead of relevant search results as mobile users will find it more convenient.
Google has recognized that when people need to know about anything at all, they ask Google. Literally, at times, many would type long questions on the search engine. One significant move they did was to make sure that the answers are already found without having to leave google.com.
This is apparent when you search for definitions of words: Google provides the answer above search engine results from the web. Many times, summaries of Wikipedia pages could be found on the right panel of the search engine result page. This makes people stop browsing once they've found their answer and therefore not have to leave google.com. It's definitely a big hit for content creators. I won't be surprised if they move more towards this answering-your-questions-directly type of search.
The mobile trend has also changed search into a more conversational type of action when incorporating voice. The concept of typing keywords like "starbucks alabang" as opposed to using your voice and asking "Where is the nearest starbucks?" is steering search engine algorithms.
Another thing they love reiterating when they have these kinds of updates is the importance of Google Plus. We've seen +1 metrics in Google Webmaster Tools for a very long while now and they really don't give up as shown in my Google AdSense scorecard below:
I'm getting scored really low for the simple fact of not having the +1 button in some of my pages. This may seem not so relevant for now but it's definitely a strong hint of how Google+ has big role to play in the future of search and Google will never let this go.
The thing is, I got notified that I'm scheduled to be paid again through AdSense within the end of the month. I know I haven't been so conscious of it but these kinds of changes in the search engine really affect my earnings and the frequency of when I get paid. When Panda was rolled out, I got very upset as it severely affected my traffic and earnings. But now, I've learned that these are inevitable market forces and innovations that benefit users and challenge people like me to avoid spamming and provide quality and relevant content.