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Google Expands Their Vocabulary: Better Processing of Complex Search Queries

We often take Google's ability to process language for granted, and get frustrated when results don't exactly fit our queries. However, when you step back and think about it, it's truly amazing what they can understand. Synonyms, homonyms, context and intent. These are things that can sometimes be difficult for humans to understand in a conversion. How can we expect robots to understand every nuance and intention, regardless of how smart the engineers, programmers and scientists that built the robot are?

We can't. At least not yet. But the robots are getting smarter. And a new announcement by Google proves it. 

Google has updated the Google App to better understand a few different types of search queries. 


Google now better understands superlatives, like "tallest," "biggest," and "most expensive." So now you can ask the important questions, like "What is the biggest pumpkin on record?"


Ordered Items

You can also ask Google to provide results for ordered items or lists, such as "What are the 10 biggest stars in our galaxy?"


Points in Time

Google now also better understands search queries with dates or time references in them. Curious about when toilet paper was first used? Go ahead and ask!


Complex Questions

Putting it all together, Google is now better able to understand complex, multi-part questions. Like, "What movies is Jake Gyllenhaal's sister's husband in?"

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You'll notice these queries are all questions. Google has been working hard on delivering answers, not just results, especially via their app and mobile devices. This first came out with their Hummingbird algorithm update back in 2013, and was in preparation for more vocal search.

Naturally, Google is still working to refine results for all types of queries, but this is an interesting and powerful step toward better language processing, more relevant results and quick answers.