Google rolls out semantic understanding to search results

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal announced Google’s big move towards semantic search results. Essentially, this means that Google’s search engine will assess search queries against a contextual database of entities, like people, location, places, etc and then serve results that are a relevant match to the query. The results will be more direct, relevant and match user intent to the query, thereby offering a better search experience overall.

Google's Amit Singhal at PubCon 2011

Google's Amit Singhal at PubCon 2011

As part of the new algorithm, Google will be providing more than a list of blue Web links. It will show more facts and direct answers to queries at the top of the search-results page. Google has been building the technology over the last few years, and is expected to roll out its new semantic search gradually.

Google won’t be replacing its keyword-search system, only further adding the new “semantic search technology.” According to Amit Singhal, Search Executive at Google, the search giant is readying itself for the “next generation of search.”

Implications for online marketing

It is widely believed that with the new development, the search industry will be impacted deeply. SEO will go beyond keywords optimization, and web pages will be measured on expanded relevance signals.

Freshness and relevancy of content will take on a very serious significance, along with other elements such as micro data and schema indexing, which allow for better indexing of content.

Social media, especially Google+ will become even more important search elements, as these social channels provide a measure of a web page’s relevance and popularity.

Google+ also meshes well with semantic search. Through a searcher’s identity and activity on Google+, the search engine will be able to better understand the intent behind the queries and provide more relevant results.

In conclusion, while Google hasn’t announced the exact features of the new technology yet, we believe that with the smarter search engine, the quality of search experience is about to change, for the better overall.

Contributed by Manisha Kumar

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