The core algorithm for Google search has just been updated to handle longer, more complex question-like queries. The last major update to the search engine was back in 2010, with Caffeine, but the change to Hummingbird brings about the matching of past queries with new ones, making consecutive queries possible – for example, ask a question about something and then ask something else without actually naming the thing you're talking about. Google will remember what you're talking about. And relative queries – this or that – will also be possible.
The update also pairs voice search to text search, making your phone that much smarter when you're looking for something. Because voice searches tend to naturally be more complex than text searches, Google had to improve the way their search formulas worked. While the changes to the results you see may not be apparent to you, believe me, there's a lot of new mojo going on in the background. And they've already been happening, with the actual implementation of Hummingbird occuring a last month ago but only being announced yesteray at a birthday event in Google's legendary original garage.
The changes are built on Google's ''Knowledge Graph,'' a complex encyclopedia of over half a billion objects and several billion facts and relationships between them. Released in mid-2012, Knowledge Graph is basically an attributes log that understands the kinds of information you're likely to want to know when you search for something. So you won't just get search results based on words, but on concepts, relationships and more. And now it handles voice searches in the same way.
It's a nice announcement for the 15th birthday of Google's founding, but we get the present. Happy Birthday Google!