Though Google declined to discuss the technology underlying the algorithm – a depressing break with the past – it did tell us that Hummingbird "makes results more useful and relevant, especially when you ask Google long, complex questions."
Thanks @happygeek - While I see the impact on our SEO, it wasn't exactly a month ago. Instead, it looks like we got hit slowly culminating on Sept 11/12. The question that remains though, is regarding SEM; has anyone seen a flux in that over the past month?
" . . . has anyone seen a flux in that over the past month?"
For my sites, traffic always goes up in September. Summers are very quiet but when school starts up again in September the traffic increases. So it is hard for me to gauge if that traffic change is caused by the algorithm change or the simple fact that students start needed my math tools again.
My own activities don't change in any case. I can't live my life around what Google or doing, or speculation about what changes Google may make in their algorithm. I still have to focus on writing some blog posts, writing programs, participating in a few forums, etc. My activities don't change.
I don't know about its effect on Google Adwords/SEM but its effects search querries and its most powerful algo ever and also many people saw its effects when they saw change in web traffic of their sites.