Google may revamp search results

15 Mar 2012

Google is reportedly planning to revamp its search engine, aiming to give more facts and direct answers in their search results rather than just links.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the update to Google search aims to be able to match how “humans understand the world,” said Google search executive Amit Singhal, to enter the “next generation of search.”

Google is aiming to give more relevant results by integrating semantic search technology, which helps associate different words with one another in order to understand their meaning. For example, it can differentiate between words with more than one meaning, such as the animal ‘jaguar’ and the car brand ‘Jaguar’ or it can link Google’s CEO Larry Page with the search term Google.

It will reportedly match searches with a database that has hundreds of millions of terms – including people, places and things – which the company has been gathering in the last two years. For terms that aren’t in this database, the semantic search technology will blend with its current system to recognise the value of information on websites to give better results.

When people input search terms into Google, they will be given key attributes that Google knows about the term. If the user is searching for a specific lake, for example, they will be given its location, altitude, average temperature or salt content. If the user inputs a question into the search engine, they will be given a direct answer.

The company hopes that by upgrading its search engine, it will offer more ways to provide advertising on the platform by showing more relevant ads. Google currently makes up 66pc of the search market online and earns more than 75pc of search ad revenue. By providing better search results based on understanding the search terms, it hopes to compete with Facebook, which has been attracting a lot of online advertising revenue due to the amount of data its users provide for the service.

Google has recently revamped its web pages to upgrade their look along with offering Google+ integration. It filtered Google+ into its search results, which drew controversy from social networks such as Twitter and it updated its privacy policy, which shares data across all of its products.