Google's Hummingbird Algorithm Ten Years Ago ~ Citizen Journalist

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Google's Hummingbird Algorithm Ten Years Ago

Added 2013-11-10 – Google was granted a continuation version of this same patent (Search queries improved based on query semantic information) on November 5th, 2013, where the claims section has been completely re-written in some interesting ways. It describes using a substitute term for one of the original terms in the query, and using an inverse document frequency count to see how many times that substitute term appears in the result set for the modified version of the query and for the original version of the query. The timing of this update of the patent is interesting. The link below points to the old version of the patent, so if you want you can compare the claims sections.

Back in September, Google announced that they had started using an algorithm that rewrites queries submitted by searchers which they had given the code name “Hummingbird.” At the time, I was writing a blog post about a patent from Google that seemed like it might be very related to the update because the focus was upon re-writing long and complex queries, while paying more attention to all the words within those queries. I called the post, The Google Hummingbird Patent because the patent seemed to be such a good match.

Google has been granted a number of patents about query re-writing, sometimes also referred to as query expansion or query broadening, which try to make it more likely that the search engines will return results closer to what a searcher is looking for, even if they might not necessarily use the best choice of keywords to find the information that will fill their needs. I had also recently written about some other patents describing how Google might re-write queries and it seemed like they were putting together a framework that involved looking at search interactions to better understand probabilities for ranking pages.

Knowing that Google had been working upon patents involving re-writing queries for a number of years, I took this statement as a challenge. Could I find a patent that looks like it describes how Hummingbird might work filed around a decade ago? I searched around, and there was one that was co-invented by Google’s Head of Search Quality, who was involved in making the recent Hummingbird announcement, Amit Singhal. While the technology described in the patent was very similar, it definitely is simpler, and doesn’t seem to focus as much on the need that mobile searches might have for responding to conversational spoken searches. Instead, it tells us:

Interestingly, this older patent may have been filed back in 2003, but it wasn’t granted until 2011. The patent is:

Search queries improved based on query semantic information
Invented by Amit Singhal, Mehran Sahami, John Lamping, Marcin Kaszkiel, and Monika H. Henzinger
Assigned to Google
US Patent 8,055,669
Granted November 8, 2011
Filed: March 3, 2003

About Syed Faizan Ali

Faizan is a 17 year old young guy who is blessed with the art of Blogging,He love to Blog day in and day out,He is a Website Designer and a Certified Graphics Designer.


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