Mythic Search: Yext Introduces the Phoenix with Summer Updates

September 15, 2021

Enterprise search firm Yext is launching new features and a revamped algorithm, poetically named “Phoenix.” We learn about the updates from the press release, “New Yext Features and Algorithm Update Bring AI Search Optimizations to Businesses” at PR Newswire. We learn:

“In addition to features powered by Phoenix like dynamic reranking, the release introduces revamped test search and experience training, as well as a reimagining of Yext’s data connector and app frameworks — all to equip businesses with modern and powerful search solutions.”

The dynamic reranking feature sounds promising. Phoenix analyzes user behavior to push the most relevant results to the top. We are given an example:

“If customers consistently click on a blog post when searching for vaccine information on a healthcare organization’s website, dynamic reranking will push that content to the top of the search results page so it appears first any time someone searches about vaccines. The Phoenix update also introduces more relevant results for queries about locations that are ‘open now’ and rich text fields, like lists, in featured snippets.”

Another feature is the ability to build Yext platform configurations and package them into installable apps. The update also makes it easy to test search experiences from the customer’s point of view. But Yext may promise a bit much with its updates to data connectors:

“With the new update to Yext’s data connectors framework, businesses can use a low-code ‘extract, transform, load’ (ETL) tool that extracts all of their data and transforms it into the same format for easy integration into their knowledge graph (a unique brain-like database of facts).”

We do not want to be critical, but we are skeptical when a vendor of search and retrieval uses the word “all.” Certain types of data are notoriously difficult to access, like chemical structures, audio, video, images, and product-management quality assurance data, to name a few. Retrieving “all” data is unlikely at prices most organizations can afford. Still, it does sound like Phoenix is a step forward from the company that promises “Search made for today. Not 1999.” Today’s “search” dates back a half century, but who is interested in history?

Cynthia Murrell, September 15, 2021

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