Google are updating the way their search engine works, bringing a new “semantic search” update that should lead to better search results based on a better understanding of what words actually mean.
Google’s search executive Amit Singhal said that the new system has a better grasp of “how humans understand the world,” with queries matched with against a database of “entities” including people, places and things. Google has quietly filling this database for two years, which should hopefully make it fairly robust when the system is integrated into their search engine.
It is thought that the acquisition of Metaweb Technologies in 2010 has been a major contributing factor to this update.
Semantic Search could also lead to fluctuations in page rankings for web masters, with the new system better able to understand specific information contained within a page rather than solely relying on the PageRank algorithm that puts an emphasis on incoming links.
The semantic search update is expected to hit Google search within a matter of months.