News

Google launches ‘hummingbird’ search technology

Google launches ‘hummingbird’ search technology

Amit Singhal, senior vice president of search at Google, introduces the new 'Hummingbird' search algorithm at the garage where the company was founded on Google's 15th anniversary in Menlo Park, California Sept. 26, 2013. Photo: Reuters

MENLO PARK, California (Reuters) – Google Inc has overhauled its search algorithm, the foundation of the Internet’s dominant search engine, to better cope with the longer, more complex queries it has been getting from Web users.

Amit Singhal, senior vice president of search, told reporters on Thursday that the company launched its latest “Hummingbird” algorithm about a month ago and that it currently affects 90 percent of worldwide searches via Google.

Google is trying to keep pace with the evolution of Internet usage. As search queries get more complicated, traditional “Boolean” or keyword-based systems begin deteriorating because of the need to match concepts and meanings in addition to words.

“Hummingbird” is the company’s effort to match the meaning of queries with that of documents on the Internet, said Singhal from the Menlo Park garage where Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin conceived their now-ubiquitous search engine.

“Remember what it was like to search in 1998? You’d sit down and boot up your bulky computer, dial up on your squawky modem, type in some keywords, and get 10 blue links to websites that had those words,” Singhal wrote in a separate blogpost.

“The world has changed so much since then: billions of people have come online, the Web has grown exponentially, and now you can ask any question on the powerful little device in your pocket.”

Page and Brin set up shop in the garage of Susan Wojcicki — now a senior Google executive — in September 1998, around the time they incorporated their company. This week marks the 15th anniversary of their collaboration.

Recent Headlines

15 hours ago in Entertainment

The pouting male models are back for ‘Zoolander 2’

25-overlay-1

Derek and Hansel are back.

15 hours ago in Entertainment

TV producers may start making you wait for new shows online

hulu

Cord-cutters beware: You might have to wait longer for new TV.

16 hours ago in Music

Peter Cetera turns down Chicago Hall of Fame induction

petercetera

Cetera quit the band in 1985 but fans were hoping for a reunion this spring.

16 hours ago in Music

Billy Gibbons starring in reality TV series

billygibbons

The ZZ Top star is headed to TV in a series about restoring classic cars.

16 hours ago in Entertainment

‘Orange is the New Black’ star sues NYC

tarynmanning

Taryn Manning is suing the city of New York, accusing police officers of wrongfully arresting her in 2014.