Google Launches Semantic Search
Google announced today on its blog that it will be sprinkling in semantic search to its regular results. It appears that at the moment the biggest change will be in the suggested search categories at the footer of the search results page, but the search results are sure to change as well.
It's good to see that Google is getting on board with semantic search. At NeboWeb, we have all been expecting such changes in Google, as predicted back in June 2008, in an article we wrote about semantic search. So far, semantic search engines such as Hakia have struggled due to irrelevant results and slow load times.
In theory, semantic search is extremely promising, but has not been put into practice very well. The primary reasons for such failure in semantic search are that it takes a massive infrastructure to accumulate the data necessary to perform semantic search. Additionally, queries need to be returned quickly in order to provide the user experience that users expect. Google is probably the only search engine that can bring semantic search to the web in a successful and effective manner.
It's also interesting to note that at the same time that Google announced its semantic search update we are seeing a toolbar PageRank update as well. Most SEM professionals believe the toolbar PageRank is merely aesthetic as the actual PageRank is months ahead of toolbar PageRank.
In other words, you should not notice a drop in rankings at the same time as a drop in toolbar PageRank. However, I do think it's interesting though that Google is rolling these two updates out at the same time...
Also, and probably not something that we're likely to see again (as well as a sign of the update) is that Google's Toolbar PageRank was 0 earlier today!!! Like I mentioned above, this is relatively meaningless during an update, but it's still fun to see this in the screenshot below: