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The “Hadron Collider” of Search

Google doesn’t understand you

In an article from Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff, Google Fellow and SVP Amit Singhal admitted that with regards to questions such as “the 10 deepest lakes in the U.S,” Google’s search algorithm means that “We cross our fingers and hope someone on the web has written about these things or topics.”  The results that appear are based on the keywords in the phrase and sites with significant authority on those words.

Google wants to transform words into entities

Instead of simply relying on keywords and phrases, Google wants to use artificial intelligence to  transform words into meaningful entities with related attributes.  Google hopes to one day be able to not only understand the lake question but to know a lake is a body of water and tell you the depth, surface areas, temperatures and even salinities for each lake.  According to Singhal, Google is “building a huge, in-house understanding of what an entity is and a repository of what entities are in the world and what should you know about those entities.”

What does this mean for the future of search?

We’re already beginning to see glimpses of the future of search in Apple’s Siri software, through which users can ask a direct, natural language question and be provided directly with an answer through the information accessible via phone.  Google is also starting to shift, with a search for “Monet” now yielding “Artwork Searches for Claude Monet” along with the standard results.  Put simply, Google’s algorithm is beginning to understand that Monet is a painter, and in turn yield results surrounding his works as an artist.  However, Singhal was quick to state that “judging the knowledge graph’s power on this would be like judging an artist on work he did as a 12- or 24-month-old… We’re building the ‘hadron collider.’ What particles will come out of it, I can’t predict right now.”

Whatever the result, Google’s ever-changing search algorithm is always a incredibly fascinating subject, especially with the effects on Search Engine Optimization and marketing as a whole.  Whether it be Siri or the hadron collider of search, the future is now!

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