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.

Latest Headlines

22 minutes ago in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: The year’s best dunks

Fresh
lakers

The NBA playoffs are underway, let's take a look back at the season's most impressive dunks.

47 minutes ago in Local

3 Charged In Cambridge Home Invasion

Fresh
GENERIC GAVEL LARGE 2

CAMBRIDGE, Maine (AP) - Police have upgraded charges against three people they allege were responsible for a masked home invasion in Cambridge last month.

1 hour ago in Local

Biddeford Cycling Center Plans Expansion

Fresh
GENERIC BICYCLES LARGE

BIDDEFORD, Maine (AP) - A nonprofit bicycle repair and activity center in Biddeford is preparing to move into a new facility officials hope will get more kids involved and allow for expanded programs.

1 hour ago in Local

Easter Day Fire Heavily Damages Auburn Home

Fresh
GENERIC FIRE LARGE

AUBURN, Maine (AP) - A two-alarm Easter Day fire caused extensive damage to an Auburn home, but no one was seriously injured.

today in Local

Lac Megantic To Be Discussed At Crisis Conference

TRAIN WRECK-QUEBEC-FIRE OUT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A conference hosted by the Maine Emergency Management Agency this week will include a session dedicated to the rail disaster across the border in Lac Megantic, Quebec.