Google Hummingbird Update

Google’s 15th anniversary marked the introduction of the Hummingbird update, slated to be one the biggest updates done by Google in years. A major part of this update is to introduce the ability to do comparisons, and to add filters to the “Knowledge Graph” technology already being used by Google. Through this update, Google aims to extend search results beyond keywords and links, to actually understanding what the user is looking for.

For example, a Google search for “Oranges versus Kiwi” yields a comparison with relevant facts comparing both the fruits. For this, Google needs to have certain additional information about the search, which in this case, is that both the items are fruits.

Another example of how the Google Hummingbird update is impacting search results is the query “How far is Rockhampton from here”. Google will automatically know the location the search is being made from, and give you accurate information in respect to that location.(Feature working for some servers)

The Hummingbird update also makes it possible for Google to perform a series of complicated queries in succession. Take the example of a search for “Images of the Sydney Tower”. When this search is followed by a search for “How tall is it?”, Google links the second search to the previous one, providing results for how tall the Sydney Tower is. This is an interesting form of “conversational search”, where Google understands what “it” means in subsequent searches, much as one would in a regular conversation. This is not implemented fully though.

With this new update, Google can now return relevant results for queries that might not be necessarily that simple. This is because Google is now looking more carefully into “how” you search, rather than “what” you search. Google is now paying more attention to the descriptive phrases being used in search queries, which is expected to bring about a change in how users search. The aim is to transfer the power of search results from keywords to the actual context of search.

This update is good news for experts in the field of creating content, since Google is now laying major emphasis on Authority as a way to identify the true experts on different topics. Content that is more naturally written, with in-depth knowledge on a certain topic will score above keyword-rich blocks of text following this update. The Google Hummingbird update marks a significant step towards shifting search queries from being brief and mechanical, to fostering a human-like interaction with our computers.

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