Semantic Search Demystified

May 21, 2012

Confused about Semantic Search? ExtremeTech seeks to explain the burgeoning technology in “Demystifying Semantic Search.” Writer Ed Oswald begins by defining the term and explaining why folks have high hopes for it. He then discusses who uses the technology, and how it will change search as we know it. He concludes by assessing some limits.

Oswald traces the yearning for semantic search back to Ask Jeeves, which launched in 1996 and famously prompted users to query with complete English sentences. The service was keyword based, but shaped the way we interact with search engines. Almost a decade later, Google’s Q&A tried to discern what users really meant. Then Bing in 2009 incorporated semantics, followed (and bested) by Wolfram Alpha.

Going forward, Oswald predicts serious problems for the keyword-reliant search engine optimization field, a prediction with which I agree wholeheartedly. In addition, he notes that users will interact with search differently—the search engine itself becomes a destination rather than a map, simplifying the search process.

The write up summarizes:

“Semantic search shows a lot of promise to change the way we search. For the webmaster, it changes the game of getting your site high up in search results. For the user, it will hopefully make our searches more relevant as it will attempt to guess our intent rather than a literal interpretation of every search term we type in. Will it also change the search giants’ stance against pay-for-play when it comes to search results? That remains to be seen, but the groundwork has certainly been laid.”

See this thorough article for more information if you’re still mystified (or just curious).

Cynthia Murrell, May 21, 2012

Sponsored by PolySpot


2 Responses to “Semantic Search Demystified”

  1. Blog Posts, Articles, and Reports To Read: May 2012 | 4R x T on June 1st, 2012 9:33 am

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  2. Small Business: Use Content to Boost Presence Post-Penguin, Panda and Semantic Search | terrahoskins on June 8th, 2012 6:00 pm

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