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Google to switch on 'semantic search' within months, emphasize things as well as words

Sharif Sakr

A search engine should be about more than just keywords. MC Hammer believes that passionately and Google must do too, because over the next few months and years it'll gradually adjust its own algorithms to put greater emphasis on "semantic search". Under this system, search queries are run through a vast knowledge database that discovers relationships with other words and facts. A Mountain View exec explained it thus: If you search for "Lake Tahoe", you won't just get ranked websites containing those two words but also key attributes about the lake, such as its location, altitude, average temperature and Bigfoot population. If a piece of knowledge isn't the in the ever-expanding database, the search engine will still use semantic search to help it recognize and evaluate information held on websites. In doing this, Big G hopes to compete with social networks that are amassing their own valuable (and sometimes intrusive) databases full of personal information, while also encouraging people to stay longer on its site and see more targeted ads. Google, who is Viviane Reding?

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