Google Turns 15, Introduces New Search Algorithm
Just as Google turns 15 years old, it unveils a new search algorithm that could drastically impact how search affects Websites.Google started 15 years ago today in a Menlo Park, Calif., garage that was rented for $1,700 a month. The company celebrated its 15th birthday by holding a media event in that same garage on Sept. 26, but the milestone was overshadowed by an announcement of a new search algorithm that aims to give better answers to search queries.
The algorithm change came as part of an update called "Hummingbird" that Google now says it has been gradually rolling out over the past month, according to a story by the Associated Press. "The changes could have a major impact on traffic to web sites. Hummingbird represents the most dramatic alteration to Google's search engine since it revised the way it indexes websites three years ago as part of a redesign called 'Caffeine,'" Amit Singhal, senior vice president for Google Search, said at the media event, the AP reported. Singhal estimates that the redesign will affect the analysis of about 90 percent of the search requests that Google gets.
The potential impact of such a move is huge because Google is such a large part of today's Internet. "Google fields about two out of every three search requests in the U.S. and handles an even larger volume in some parts of Europe," according to the AP story. "The changes could also drive up the price of Google ads tied to search requests if websites whose rankings are demoted under the new system feel they have to buy the marketing messages to attract traffic."The algorithm change was made to try to better handle the longer, more complex queries that are entered into the Google search engine by users, according to a Sept. 26 story by Reuters. Google did not respond to several email inquiries from eWEEK seeking more details about the new algorithm and its uses. In his own Sept. 26 post about the company's 15th birthday on the Google Inside Search Blog, Singhal didn't actually mention the recent algorithm changes as he described how much the world of search has changed in the years since Google first appeared online.