Google is launching a new "semantic search" that could affect million of sites and change the Google search algorithm.
The new search isn't replacing the current keyword-search system, but will rely on understanding the actual meaning of words, the Wall Street Journal reported. In this way, Google will be able to distinguish between Jaguar the luxury car and the jaguar, a South American big cat.
Amit Singhal, a top Google search executive, said the search engine will better match queries with a database containing hundreds of millions of people, places and things which the company has quietly amassed in the past two years.
In essence, users looking up Mt. Kilimanjaroo might get information on the mountain itself, such as height, maps, weather or how to get there. Google's new search may also be better for more complex questions such as, "What are the 10 largest lakes in California?" Google might provide the answer instead of just links to other sites, the WSJ reported.
Google has about 66 percent of the search market share and 75 percent of search-ad revenue, so some may fear the changes could hurt businesses or ads, but Google intends on blending in the semantic search with its current keyword-search. The new search also will keep them on the Google site longer.
The new search could mean that websites will have to go back to the drawing board to attempt to game Google search results
, but that's why search-engine optimization experts exist, right? The new search could affect about 10 to 20 percent of sites, which isn't high but isn't a small segment either.
As for users, the Google search may be able to provide quick answers to "Where is LAX?" instead of having to wade through dozens of websites on buying discount airline tickets.
Published at 12:23 PM PDT on Mar 15, 2012