Google Hummingbird focuses on perfecting the conversational search. In many years of web surfing, people have learnt to speak the language of search engines. We’ve become used to typing keywords as opposed to full sentences and noticed which ways of phrasing a question deliver better results. Now it’s Google’s turn to learn to speak our language. There are more and more people using the internet on their mobile phones, and a rising number of them using voice search instead of typing their questions on the uncomfortable, still awkward mobile keyboards.
For Google to continue leading the way, it has to learn how people speak and understand how they will phrase their questions on mobile phones. It also needs to predict what information they are looking for and what related questions they might ask immediately afterwards. Google has already started putting the building blocks in the foundation of this method with the Knowledge Graph, where the company has improved the search engine’s understanding of subjects in order to make connections the way humans do. Hummingbird is building on the Graph, but it still has a lot to learn until it can become a real life version of the impressive, self-aware computers we see in science-fiction – although that is the long term goal!