Google Updates Searches to Understand Concepts

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — With an update called "Hummingbird," Google has retooled searches to give better answers to the increasingly complex questions posed by web surfers.

Hummingbird may have a major impact with traffic to 90 percent of all websites, including porn sites, because Google fields about two of out every three search requests in the U.S. and handles an even larger volume in parts of Europe.

The update represents the most dramatic alteration to its search engine since it revised the way it indexes websites three years ago as part of a redesign called "Caffeine," according to Google vice president Amit Singhal.

Singhal said Hummingbird is primarily aimed at giving Google's search engine a better grasp at understanding concepts instead of just words.