Google aims to answer questions with new search facility

Posted on March 22, 2012


Google is developing a new improved search facility that aims to actually answer a user’s questions rather than rely on others for solutions. The search engine is to undergo drastic changes so that it can do more than just search for keywords typed in by a user. Rather than being presented with a list of links to websites which may contain what a user is searching for, the search engine will present information at the top of the results page.

Microsoft Bing is already equipped to answer questions, as it believes that people expect to find answers rather than links on a search results page. FreeBase, a ‘knowledge graph’ company, was acquired by Google in 2010. The existing ‘entities’ held on the database have been increased to more than 200 million, from the 12 million previously held. One of Google’s senior vice presidents, Amit Singhal, said improvements to the search engine could take a number of years. However, the Wall Street Journal which has information for sources remaining unnamed, says that the changes are imminent.

The new search facility will interpret questions asked, and understand the meaning, rather than looking for keywords used in the search box, called ‘semantic search’. The developments could help Google to stay ahead of rivals, although the changes could make some SEO jobs more complex. Companies which have a SEO campaign will certainly be keeping abreast of developments as Google plays an integral role in a company’s search engine optimisation programme, whether this is in Chester, Merseyside or the US.

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