Tag Archive | "Semantic"

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Google goes semantic

Posted on 24 March 2009 by Andreas Vamvatsikos

Google seem to have embraced the semantic trend that has been developing over the past few years, as it has incorporated into its search engine some initial semantic functionality.

This development will enable the market leading search engine to better understand associations and concepts related to a search, expanding the accuracy of results provided by the classic keyword approach.

For example, according to the blog post announcing this new feature, the search engine, upon encountering a query such as “principles of physics,” will now be able to calculate that “angular momentum,” “special relativity,” “big bang” and “quantum mechanics” are also related terms, and offer them as alternative search suggestions at the top or bottom of the page.

Google will be using a mixture of semantic algorithms and on the fly data mining – as Ori Allon, Technical Lead of the Google Search Quality Team (and blogger) has stated earlier this year in an interview – and will not use semantic technology more broadly just yet, not wanting to decrease its famous search performance. At Google they see semantic capabilities as a part of their search algorithm and not as a full replacement for their traditional keyword analysis.

This move was expected since Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt made a short reference to it during the announcement of Google’s fourth-quarter results : “Wouldn’t it be nice, if Google understood the meaning of your phrase, rather than just the words that are in the phrase? We have made a lot of discoveries in that area that are going to roll out.”

Google was also under some pressure as many of its competitors already were working on semantic search engines to better serve users by understanding their queries and so undermining Google’s dominance of the Search Market. Microsoft acquired Powerset Inc in 2008 to gain access to the start-up vendor’s semantic search technology. Also in 2008, Yahoo announced plans to support Semantic Web standards as part of its new open search platform. Other vendors are already offering semantic capabilities in their search engines like Ask.com (or at least trying very hard to get it right).

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