Tuesday, 31st March 2009
Google search has received a touch of semantic technology. Last week, the company announced that the new technology would enable the search engine to identify associations and concepts related to a query, improving the list of related search terms Google displays along with its results. The identification process happens in real-time, which implies that it is not pre-configured and limited in its scope, as a full conceptual analysis of sources would significantly slow down the query refinement suggestions.
Semantic search is a hot topic and all search engine providers are working on solutions. For example, Microsoft in 2008 acquired Powerset in order to improve its Web search engine with semantic search technology. The provider with a first working solution would revolutionize the current search engine market share status quo. And you can expect that Google offering query-refinement suggestions is but the first application of the technology behind these enhancements; more concrete improvements applied to things like search ranking will follow.
Google has often been criticized for using what is considered an ageing approach to solving search queries based primarily on analyzing keywords and not on understanding their meaning. This now seems to be changing but the way to true semantic search is long and others are in the game as well. In the end, it is the user who can benefit from incremental improvements in the meantime.
The Official Google Blog: http://digbig.com/4ynmn
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