(Message from the CEO of EasyAsk, Craig Bassin)
Looks like this is the beginning of the end for keyword search. You’ve probably seen a number of articles discussing Google’s shift to ‘semantic search’. Anyone understand what that REALLY means? First, the definition of ‘semantic search’ is an understanding of the ‘intent’, or meaning, of the search, rather than just matching the keywords.
Now why would the undisputed 800-pound gorilla of keyword search, change course at this late date? Conventional wisdom says they were forced to take a hard look after Apple launched Siri. The timing sure seems to reinforce the fact that they’ve been playing with semantic search for some time, but needed to make a marketing splash now.
So, why change? Well, obviously it’s a BETTER way to search and they had to, or they wouldn’t have! I mean, really, Google acknowledging the limitations of keyword search?
Quoting from Paul Demery’s recent article (to read it, click here) about Google’s adoption of semantic search in Internet Retailer, ‘“Semantic search should allow Google as well as other search engines to better understand the true user intent of a search query,” says Kevin Lee, CEO of search marketing firm Didit.
Also, quoting from the same article: “Every day, we’re improving our ability to give you the best answers to your questions as quickly as possible,” Amit Singhal, Google’s head of search technology, said in a blog post. “In doing so, we convert raw data into knowledge for millions of users around the world. But our ability to deliver this experience is a function of our understanding your question and also truly understanding all the data that’s out there. And right now, our understanding is pretty darn limited. Ask us for ‘the 10 deepest lakes in the U.S,’ and we’ll give you decent results based on those keywords, but not necessarily because we understand what depth is or what a lake is.”
Now, understanding ‘intent’ AND ‘content’ is something that is at the very core of who EasyAsk is and how EasyAsk searches. It’s the idea that, in an e-commerce setting, you can search for ‘men’s dress shirts under $30’ or ‘ladies red pumps size 6’ and get EXACTLY what you’re looking for. Natural language understands the semantics involved in the search. We understand the ‘intent’ of the question, we understand the ‘content’ of the data. In adopting a new ‘semantic’ architecture Google will start to understand the ‘intent’ piece as well.
Now, who else searches this way? How about Microsoft’s Bing, IBM’s Watson, obviously Apple’s Siri.
Now which of these companies can help you improve your e-commerce site?
None of them.
OK, but what about the other e-commerce search providers. You probably know a few of them. Endeca, SLI, Adobe, SOLR.
No, no, no and no. Strictly keyword search. Old news. Yesterday’s tech.
So we want to be the first to welcome Google. We like them, use them all the time for internet search, along with Bing. But when it comes to e-commerce search, folks, EasyAsk is leading the way. Let us show you how.
It’s what we do.