Robert_Charlton - 10:13 pm on Oct 12, 2013 (gmt 0)
JD_Toims - Thanks for doing all that research and putting these together in a thoughtful and coherent sequence. Thanks also to Bill Slawski, who over the years has kept on top of this material, and to whom we all owe a great debt.
I haven't had a chance to read through all of these by any means... but at quick glance the patents listed here focus on query rewriting and user intent. Hummingbird might be limited to these, but I'm thinking that it necessarily goes beyond them (and I'm guessing that you would agree with that.)
At the risk of listing what might already be included in the above, I'd say that semantic search (implicit perhaps in "search entities"), longer term personalization, and some measures of user satisfaction... building on what's come before... also play a large part in the overall algo. Hard to say with any certainty at this point in time. I also assume that it's a "learning" algorithm, which is going to evolve over time.