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Google reinvents the wheel with Hummingbird search update

You won’t be able to see it on the surface, but Google has just overhauled the way its search engine handles your queries. According to senior vice president at the firm, Amit Singhal, Google now understands you better than ever and can draw more meaning from your terms and therefore provide more accurate results – at least in theory.

“As (users) have become more comfortable with search, they have started asking more complex questions of Google,” said Singhal – describing what we can imagine are very non search friendly queries. You know, the kind you see in autocomplete if you wait a second and wonder how anyone thought that would find the answer to anything? Well Google’s better at dealing with those searches now.

What’s a little too Skynet like though, is the way Google actually figures out what to show you based on those advanced queries. On top of all the traditional search parameters, Google is now figuring out what documents are actually saying according to Singhal. One demonstrated example involved a search for “impressionist artists,” which then displayed a variety of information in the searches, instead of sites with similar content all carefully search engine optimised.

hummingbird
Not quite as cool a name as Ice Cream Sandwhich, but we’ll go with it. Source: EverlastImages

The event that showed the Hummingbird update off to journalists was actually held in Google’s first office: a small garage in Silicon Valley. Wired suggests this highlighted how amazing it was that Google had come so far and that internet searching itself had changed so much in the 15 years since Google’s inception.

It’s worth considering though, that if Google is getting better at figuring out what we want to look for, potentially offering us the information before we’ve even finished our query, how do we know that we’re not being censored or manipulated? Filter bubbles are also a real worry that needs to be remembered.

KitGuru Says: The amount we rely on Google and other search engines is quite scary really. I’d struggle to do my job without it. 

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