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Google updates its Hummingbird advanced-search algorithm

|Sep 27|magazine6 min read

The September edition of the Business Review Canada is now live!

By: Alyssa Clark

Google updating its search algorithms is a normal occurrence, so normal the updates total around several hundred times a year, however usually the change is entirely too small to ever notice. One recent change however has had everyone noticing, and talking about it.

 As Google marked its fifteenth anniversary this past Thursday, it also made a revision to its newly implemented search engine algorithm entitled “Hummingbird”. The update to this Hummingbird system enables Google’s usage of its “Knowledge Graph”, which was introduced about a year ago to the public, in a way that helps the engine’s search understand the process of conceptualization, rather than identifying matching keywords in web documents. The Knowledge Graph organizes the data in a more structured format, so that the search will return well-rounded results (for example, a search of Albert Einstein would relay information about his life, scientific accomplishments, family life and legacy).

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The expansion of The Knowledge Graph’s capabilities allows for more complex entries into the Google search to not only be explained faster, but to be explained better. For example, Google’s senior VP of Google Search stated, “[some] points to a search like "Tell me about Impressionist artists," [will] now return a broad set of appropriate facts when submitted through a mobile device”. This update also helps with follow-up searches by making references to previous entries as well.

Also featuring a comparison tool, allowing entries like “compare olive oil to butter” to be made into Google Search , this new update has only scratched the surface for what Google has in store for the public in terms of its searching capabilities. As typing on an interface of any kind slowly becomes more time consuming and less practical, be on the lookout for Google Search’s upcoming updates like voice search and predictive search.