Thursday, October 3, 2013

Happy Birthday Google!

Instead of going down to the DMV and preparing for a driver’s permit, Google chose to spend its fifteenth birthday a little differently.

In the garage where it all started fifteen years ago, Google announced its new algorithm development: Hummingbird. As the newest core algorithm change since Caffeine in 2010, Hummingbird is an extension of Google Knowledge Graph with features including comparison charts and voice recognition.

Compliments of Google Inside Search Blog
Caffeine made Google a source of information by adding the information bar to the right of all searches with Google Knowledge Graph. By including basic information to search inquiry pages, Caffeine has been extended with Google Knowledge Graph “Cards”. Geo-targeted visual representations of search results appear in an image carousel at the top of the page to compare and select different sources based on visuals and reviews.  Although this feature isn’t built out for all searches, it is only a matter of time until it is rolled out completely. The comparison charts and “cards” make choosing between options easier than ever and viewers have no need to leave Google for more information.

The #1 search engine is becoming a source of information instead of a source index.

The voice recognition software is ideal for smartphones and tablets to receive relevant information quickly and conveniently while on the go. Prefer to use pronouns over proper nouns? No problem. Hummingbird voice recognition remembers the he or she you are referring to from previous questions. For example, if you asked, “How old is President Obama?” the search would display his age is 52 and was born August 4, 1961. Next, if you asked, “How tall is he?” Hummingbird’s voice recognition remembers the previous question, recognizes you are referring to President Obama, and would reply with 6’1” (1.85 m). Take it one step further, “What does he prefer, butter or olive oil?” (According to Google’s new comparison tool butter may be the healthier choice.)

Will it ever stop? Clearly not. In addition to new features, Hummingbird is more than precision and speed, it’s interpretive.
Consumers have been relying on Google to answer their complex questions making keyword searches a thing of the past. Now the search engine focuses on understanding the question and information consumers are seeking instead of linking directly to keywords. Consumers have become reliant on Google for answers and ask what they want to know instead of taking time to pick out key words. Google has adapted to its audience of information hungry users and is changing how we gain that information. The ultimate change is in the results.

Google is taking over. I suppose we can look to Star Trek to predict what will become a reality next.

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