In a move to stave off competition and “drum up interest in its shares, which are down about 4% this year”, last week Google announced that it will be adding semantic search technology to its popular keyword search system in the hopes of providing smarter, more relevant results to search queries.
According to the WSJ article, ‘Google Gives Search a Refresh’, over the next few months, Google's search engine “will begin spitting out more than a list of blue Web links. It will also present more facts and direct answers to queries at the top of the search-results page.”
Unlike keyword searches that just look for simple matches, semantic search actually tries to understand the meaning of the words you type in. With the addition of semantic search capabilities, Google would start providing actual answers to questions, both from its own database and from other websites. It is a process which will take years, the WSJ learnt from Google fellow and online search veteran, Amit Singhal.
The new developments are intended to help Google maintain its lead over rivals such as Microsoft’s Bing and Apple’s Siri, the WSJ said, and to entice people to stay longer on the site. The resulting changes to search, says the article, “could give Google more ways to serve up advertisements.”
Google did not reveal a timeline for the evolution to semantic capabilities.
Google = Late to the “Semantic Search” Party
While Google has purportedly been chasing the semantic web for some time now, they admit they have a long way to go. The Wall Street Journal quotes anonymous Googlers as saying major changes will show up in coming months. But Singhal plays down expectations, saying Google is undergoing a years-long process to enter the ‘next generation of search’.”
The reality is, Google is a late comer in the world of semantic search. And, Google’s ability to understand human language is still "pretty darn limited," and we've got "a long road ahead" to master the technology, Google’s Singhal said of online search in a message posted at the company’s Google+ online social network.’
Last Spring, IBM’s Watson demonstrated the power of generalized semantic search. But Watson, offered via IBM’s Global Services group and powered by 90 servers and a network-attached storage cluster with over 21TB of data, is still not a deployable desktop solution today.
The good news is: for companies who want to dramatically reduce the amount of time spent searching for and finding relevant answers, semantic search is already here.
Developed at a cost of over 1000 man years, and with nearly four dozen global patents (granted and pending) in the areas of semantic search, question answering technology and deep semantics, Invention Machine’s semantic capabilities are a true leap forward. Unlike traditional keyword search solutions like Google, which deliver links to documents that may or may not be relevant to the search query, Invention Machine’s world-class semantic technology delivers solutions.
Beyond Search: Goldfire
Goldfire, the Innovation Intelligence Platform from Invention Machine, is a commercially available, purpose-built solution for driving innovation in product design and manufacturing. Goldfire harnesses the power of semantic search (with the simplicity of keyword search) and integrates this capability with a collaborative framework, on-demand competitive and technology trends, and proven innovation methods to knowledge-enable engineers, scientists, researchers and other innovation workers as they tackle a myriad of innovation activities.
Goldfire goes far beyond search, connecting people to precise answers in internal and external knowledge sources across more than 300 document types and five languages and to knowledge buried in Big Data and unstructured text. Goldfire also connects personnel to in-house and outside experts, on-demand technology news, semantic analysis of consumer sentiment, supply chain monitoring and much more.
In use by hundreds of Global 2000 companies across industries and across the globe, Goldfire helps increase productivity, raise R&D returns, and accelerate innovation.