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30/3/12

Google is about to unveil the most dramatic changes

Google is about to unveil the most dramatic changes to its search engine in the company's history. PC magazine says the changes are in response to Microsoft's Bing search engine which has the ability to answer questions, rather than respond with a bunch of links and Britain's The Telegraph says that for a service as entrenched as Google is, the move is quite revolutionary.

The changes to search are among the biggest in the company's history and could affect millions of websites that rely on Google's current page-ranking results. At the same time, they could give Google more ways to serve up advertisements.

For a more complex question To provide answers that aren't already in Google's ever-expanding database, the company will blend new semantic-search technology with its current system to better recognize the value of information on websites and figure out which ones to show in search results. By looking at what a user types in the search box, Google says it should be able to determine whether they want general information about a topic, or specific answers.It would do so by examining a Web page and identifying information about specific entities referenced on it, rather than only look for keywords. 
Google isn't replacing its current keyword-search system, which determines the importance of a website based on the words it contains, how often other sites link to it, and dozens of other measures. Rather, the company is aiming to provide more relevant results by incorporating "semantic search," which refers to the process of understanding the actual meaning of words. Determines the importance of websites based on the words it contains, links to those sites and dozens of other measures. Also factors in the person searching, such as his location and the time of day. Semantic Search.  
Amit Singhal, a top Google search executive, said in a recent interview that the search engine will better match search queries with a database containing hundreds of millions of "entities"—people, places and things—which the company has quietly amassed in the past two years. Semantic search can help associate different words with one another.

Google will differentiate between words with more than one meaning, such as the car brand 'Jaguar' and the animal 'jaguar.'Google search will look more like "how humans understand the world.

For example if a user types in something that starts with "What is a", Google will now more often than not simply respond with a hopefully correct answer. For example typing in "What is a toy?" Google will respond with a dictionary definition of a toy.

Google will add more relevant information at the top of search replies instead of simply jumping on links. They also note that Google will be relying on answers it finds through searches rather than a database of its own knowledge. Thus, there is no guarantee that the answers provided will be correct. They add that it is likely that Google will rely very heavily on facts it finds doing searches on Wikipedia, the free open source online encyclopedia.

Under the shift, people who search for "Lake Tahoe" will see key "attributes" that the search engine knows about the lake, such as its location, altitude, average temperature or salt content. In contrast, those who search for "Lake Tahoe" today would get only links to the lake's visitor bureau website, its dedicated page on Wikipedia.com, and a link to a relevant map.

The coming shift has major implications for Google, which dominates the Internet search market with around 66% market share and more than 75% of all search-ad revenue. The Mountain View, Calif., company has succeeded because of the strength and ease of its keyword-search technology, which in turn fueled Google's search ads, which appear next to search results. That business now generates the majority of Google's $37 billion in annual revenue.

Now Google is taking action to maintain. Google isn't offering any dates just yet, but says instead that it will be adding changes as they are ready starting immediately and continuing into the foreseeable future.
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