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

in Local

Life Without Parole to Replace Nebraska Death Penalty

prison

Nebraska is now among 19 states that do not have the death penalty.

in Local

Franken Returns from Cuba

cuba flag

Minnesota Senator Al Franken is wrapping up a nearly week-long trip to Cuba as part of a congressional delegation that's exploring ways the U.S. can expand trade opportunities with the island nation.

in Local

Iowa Universities to Address Sexual Assault

iowastate

The board that governs the three state universities in Iowa will discuss creating a campus safety and security sub-committee at its meeting next week in Ames.

in Local

Egg Prices Rise in Response to Avian Flu

eggs

Consumers are seeing some grocery prices rise as the price of eggs used by food manufacturers has more than tripled in recent weeks due to the avian influenza outbreak in 16 states.

in Local

Death Penalty Repealed in Nebraska

nebraska-state-capital

Nebraska lawmakers debated repeal of the death penalty for three and a half hours before finally voting to override Governor Pete Ricketts' veto.