Not a Keyword, But a Conversation: The Future of Search

Google HummingbirdDaniel Newman of Forbes recently wrote, “In the future, and really even today, the most qualified and successful searches are going to be driven by conversations. When Google Hummingbird was launched, Google used the idea of conversation rather than keyword as one of the biggest evolutions taking place with the new algorithm.  So rather than thinking of search in terms of just the keywords given, Google can now look for meaning behind the words that you enter in your search query. In my last post on the subject I talked about a couple searching out a dining experience and how rather than plugging in just words like ‘Steakhouse’ or ‘Chicago,’ they would today look to plug in ‘Where can we get a great steak in Chicago?’”

Newman continues, “Before search had the capability of better understanding the meaning behind search, if you were to enter that entire phrase, the search engine wouldn’t know whether you meant a restaurant or a grocery store. Further it would have very little data to qualify what makes a steak great. It would have likely used spiders and other white hat SEO practices to find sites that have the words Chicago, and Steak in them. With Hummingbird, and more importantly the advances in semantic search, the search engine is now able to understand more of the nuance of what you are searching for. For instance, it could likely make out that you are looking to go out for a steak rather than find a store that sells them. Furthermore, it can work to find results that take into consideration your exact location to better filter results than just all of the steakhouses in Chicago.”

Read more here.

For more of the latest in search from Google, Yahoo,, and other leading companies and analysts, check out the Search Track at the upcoming Semantic Technology & Business Conference.

Image: Courtesy Google