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27 Sep, 2013 13:01

Search revolution: Google ‘Hummingbird’ update unveiled

Search revolution: Google ‘Hummingbird’ update unveiled

Google has modified the classified formula which runs its internet search engine, a move which could lead to a major reshuffle in how internet traffic is handled.

The overhaul is aimed at improving the search qualities, as the questions posed by the users are becoming increasingly complex. The update will help the engine to understand complicated concepts instead of words.

‘Hummingbird’ was presented on Thursday, in the Menlo Park, California, at the garage where the company’s CEO Larry Page and fellow co-founder Sergey Brin started the company 15 years ago.

The changes are set to affect 90 percent of searches: Google is the major player in the field, accounting for two out of three search requests in the US and sometimes even bigger percentage in Europe.

Prices for advertisements in Google which are tied to search requests could also grow. The company’s revenue is set to approach $60 billion this year, AP reported.

Apart from ‘Hummingbird’, several other updates have been announced, with most aiming at providing the data more concisely to allow people not to navigate to another website to find out more – which can prove difficult on small smart phone screens.

These changes mainly affect the ‘Knowledge Graph’, a box that appears on top or alongside other search results. In particular, its new version will be able to compare the attributes of two different things. ‘Google Now’, a virtual assistant that provides for the user the information about his interests and location, will start flagging new developments – for example, in the life of a celebrity - that interest the user.

This major reshuffle comes three years after another modification called ‘Caffeine’, the company’s senior vice president Amit Singhal pointed out.

"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 blog post.

"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."

Google’s reshuffles have also come under fire from other websites which say the overhauls cause internet traffic across the globe to skew dramatically. As a result, many pages’ rank has fallen or risen in recommendations.

For instance, the Caffeine update caused a widespread outcry, as it attempted to weed out the websites which tried to trick the search engine into believing that their content was related to common search requests.