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Hummingbird, A Smarter Search

google_HummingbirdWith all the intelligence behind Caffeine, Panda and Penguin that Google launched years ago, it was a matter of time when the developers would introduce a refined search algorithm. They call this “hummingbird” a smart search algorithm that provides direct results.

According to Google, “Conversational search” is one of the biggest changes in its new algorithm. Here is an example to better describe “hummingbirds” search:

“What’s the closest place to buy an iPhone 5s near my home?” A traditional search engine might focus on finding matches for words — finding a page that says “buy” and “iPhone 5s,” for example.

Hummingbird focuses on the meaning behind the search. It understands the actual location of your home, if you’ve shared that with Google. It even understands that “place” means you want a brick-and-mortar store. It might get that “iPhone 5s” is a particular type of electronic device carried by certain stores. Knowing all these meanings may help Google go beyond just finding pages with matching words.

In particular, Google states that Hummingbird pays more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query is taken into account, rather than particular words..

One key update Google made was the ability to incorporate speech technology in searches. This change has been emphasized by the increasing popularity of voice searches in smartphones. Here is a screen image of what the new search in Google looks like.


New Tab



Another example is the knowledge graph –

The image below shows how a natural language search benefits from the ability to pull real-time answers to queries that understand the context of the query.

Note that the Knowledge Graph has accepted some forms of conversational queries for a while, but a big part of Hummingbird was about expanding this capability


pomegranate vs cranberry juice - Google Search


As search engine query intelligence improves – Google is prepared for a future where its users interact with it constantly, quickly, and verbally. By making its search engine better at understanding people, Google is paving the way for the future.

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