Google Goes Semantic

In an effort to better understand search engine users, search giant Google Tuesday announced improvements to its search-term association technology, improvements that go beyond the traditional matching of key words with words found at websites.

The new technology allows Google to identify associations related to search queries and better understand what search phrases or words mean.

"We're deploying a new technology that can better understand associations and concepts related to your search," wrote Ori Allon, head of Google’s search quality team, in a blog post, according to Agence France Press. "We are now able to target more queries, more languages, and make our suggestions more relevant to what you actually need to know."

Google said it unveiled semantic search functions in 37 languages.

An English language example of its new technology, Allon noted, is evident when Web users deploy a Google Web search using the phrase “principles of physics.” Instead of simply matching the query with Web pages utilizing the words in the phrase, search results now include “big bang” and “quantum mechanics.”

While Google and competitors like Microsoft and Yahoo have been busy improving semantic search capabilities for some time, improvements have been somewhat narrow given the time-consuming process of generating split-second, semantic search results.

"If we want to get it all done in a matter of milliseconds, there are a lot of innovations we still have to do,” Allon wrote in a blog post, according to IDG News Service. “A full semantic search would be very hard to do in this limited amount of time."

Google’s new semantics features are part of an ever-evolving search industry, where, for example, public relations firms like now optimize press releases for search engines and organic search management platforms like provide a centralized seo software system where affiliate marketers, franchises and businesses can build a vast number of search engine optimized websites.

Google also announced a feature that will provide longer text excerpts, or “snippets,” for search results in order to give readers more context, a move that has come under fire by some website owners who the added information will reduce page visits.

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