This may come as a surprise but Google released an algorithm change at the end of September 2013 and no one seems to be up in arms about it.  The update appears to be more of a back end change than an SEO change.  It impacts "data retrieval, artificial intelligence and how data is accessed and presented to users," according to  It's not really about whether or not your content is good or bad.

In the words of Amit Singhal, Senior Vice President of Search, “With more complex queries, the algorithm can better understand concepts vs. words as well as relationships between concepts.”

What that means is that this algorithm change is aimed at Siri, apple's voice activated search aid.  It's clear that Google was concerned about its mobile search numbers.  More and more searches are conducted on mobile devices which tend to contain more words and where context plays a key role.  Hummingbird is flat out trying to get smarter.

There is chatter on the industry blogs about the connection between Hummingbird and social signals, namely Google +.  Everyone seems to keep saying that there is no direct correlation between social and search results, but it's clear that there is a connection and that the search results for mobile in particular could be influenced by your friends and social circles.

In an insightful comment to a article on this topic, Coriou Alexandru analyzed the current situation, " It’s starting to feel like a war betwen facebook and google and most of us are caught in the crossfire. You need to post on Google + to rank on Google and you need to post on Facebook using Open-Graph implementation to rank on their open-graph search. Google is a search engine trying to push it’s social media platform while Facebook is a social media platform trying to push it’s search engine tech."

The battles continue.