Google Reveals Major Change in Search Technology

As part of its 15-year celebration, Google Search is making a major upgrade to its search algorithm. Code-named Hummingbird, it's the biggest morph since the Caffeine update in 2010.

Google actually made the change a month ago, and you may not even have noticed because the user interface is the same. Essentially, Google is expanding features of the Knowledge Graph so it can answer more questions -- even questions that don't have simple answers.

"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," said Amit Singhal, senior vice president of Google Search. "If you want to switch to Abstract artists, you can do that really easily with our new filter tool."

Conversing With Google Search

Singhal said having a "conversation" with Google should also be more natural. Ideally, he said, you wouldn't need to pull out your phone or tap buttons to use Google. Singhal admitted the search engine giant isn't quite there yet, but you can already do a lot with just your voice.

"In the next couple of weeks, you'll be able to download a new version of the Google Search app on iPhone and iPad. With this update, you can get notifications across your devices," he explained. "So if you tell your Nexus 7, 'OK Google. Remind me to buy olive oil at Safeway,' when you walk into the store with your iPhone, you'll get a reminder. We'll also show you Google Now notifications so you're not late to your cooking class."

Singhal also pointed to a new look and feel for Google Search and ads on...

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