Up to 90 percent of search results will be affected by changes that Google has just made to its much-analyzed SEO algorithm. This update is hugely important — and perhaps alarming — to marketers who make it a business to understand search engine optimization techniques in order to direct traffic to their clients’ websites.

This shift might seem abrupt, but that’s possibly because it was already in effect weeks before Google even announced the change on Sept. 26 in Menino, Calif., at the company’s 15th-anniversary conference. Now it’s up to everyone else to start scoping out the changes and scrambling to keep up.

One of the big changes that might have been immediately visible to Google users is that more content is provided by Google itself. That is, if someone is seeking a simple answer or even a complicated solution, Google reaches through its massive database and provides a suitable matching answer compiled from other websites that are actually authorities on the subject at hand. For example, Google can search through thousands of cooking websites and provide you with the most useful recipe for baking an upside-down pineapple cake. Searchers will not have to leave click beyond Google’s response page — which is great for the searcher, but bad for PineappleCakes.com, because visitors have less reason to click through to the website and give it traffic.

In addition to conserving clicks, there is even more method to Google’s madness. This new operation, called Hummingbird by insiders, was largely motivated by voice-operated searches. When people are speaking rather than typing, they tend to use more complex phrases and terminology, which affected how Google searched and ranked queries. This helps users get more on-target results, and puts voice searches in line with the high level of analysis that text searches were already receiving — and will continue to receive with this update.

Are you excited about Google becoming even more targeted and efficient? Are you worried about what it means for Google to become the Queen Bee among the massive hive mind of the Internet? Let us hear how this might affect how you conduct searches or how you plan to update your website to reflect this new paradigm.