Today marks the fifteen year anniversary of the creation of Google. They are celebrating by announcing their new Hummingbird algorithm, an update that includes a new interface and a faster search experience.
Hummingbird is an update rather than a whole, new algorithm. It incorporates a lot of the old elements that has made Google so popular, such as PageRank, and better integration of the Knowledge Graph.
What is so interesting about this move isn’t necessarily the update. It is the fact that they have been using it for a month and just didn’t tell anyone. They only announced it today, showing that the test release was successful and they will be keeping Hummingbird rather than letting it quietly die.
From what Google has said, a lot of focus is being put on some of the old tools of their search engine, while introducing new ones. For example, intuitive search results that are based on context and meaning rather than direct keyword matches are a big part of the change. You may have noticed that in the last month when you have used Google.
The Knowledge Graphs are getting more thorough, as well. In the past, you have been able to see certain graphs when you ask for things like currency conversion, or the local weather. But the number of topics being covered have been expanded drastically. They offered this example:
“Let’s say you want to get your daughter excited about a visit to the Met. You can pull up your phone and say to Google: “Tell me about Impressionist artists.” You’ll see who the artists are, and you can dive in to learn more about each of them and explore their most famous works. If you want to switch to Abstract artists, you can do that really easily with our new filter tool.”
Obviously, this will affect a lot of the overall user experience, giving information faster and in a more visual way than just providing results to other websites that host those details. Considering how helpful Knowledge Graphs have been in the past, this was a really good move on their part.
Another big change is the mobile design. For the first time there is going to be a unified interface across all mobile devices. Should be interesting.
Source: Inside Search