Russia’s largest search engine, Yandex, has announced a new algorithm update named “Vega” that introduced “1,500 improvements to Yandex Search.” According to Yandex, this is the biggest and most significant change to the search engine and that it is bringing in more human elements into search.
Yandex said it has “updated the ranking algorithm with neural networks trained on data provided by real experts in several fields, providing users with even higher quality solutions to their searches.” Yandex seems to have experts feeding signals to the machine learning algorithms on what the best outcomes should be and the machines that use real human inputs to drive a better end result for the search results.
The company is also bringing in a Q&A service into search. “We’re also connecting people with answers to their searches from qualified experts, through our new question-and-answer service, Yandex.Q,” the company said.
The size of the Yandex index can be doubled while improving the speed of delivering search results to users. “Our search index is now twice as large, with 200 billion documents, thanks to a clever method for grouping similar web pages into clusters,” said Yandex. Pre-rendered technology for mobile users and other techniques to return these results faster are also being used.
“Our new search update combines our latest technologies with human knowledge,” says Andrey Styskin, Head of Yandex Search. “At Yandex, it’s our goal to help consumers and businesses better navigate the online and offline world. With this new search update, users across the RuNet are helping us do just that. By contributing their knowledge, experts are enhancing our algorithms and helping our Search users, who continue to grow; over the past year, Yandex’s search share on Android in Russia rose 4.8% to 54.7% in early December.”
Yandex posted numerous examples on the company blog, which are in Russian. If you speak Russian, you may understand the examples. So go take a look.