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As Web Search Goes Mobile, Competitors Chip at Google’s Lead


Google and some of its leading rivals in search, Bing and Yahoo!

Peoplew increasingly want to use their mobile devices to find all types of information, which is fueling a shift in the nature of search.

Credit: Working Home Guide

People increasingly want to use their mobile devices to find all types of information, which is fueling a shift in the nature of search. Consequently, Google and others are developing smarter search apps designed to generate more customized and relevant results.

"What people want is, ‘You ask a very simple question and you get a very simple answer,’" says University of Washington professor Oren Etzioni. "We want to know the closest sushi place, make a reservation, and be on our way."

Google has changed its search model to display answers rather than just links if a person uses search terms such as "March Madness" or "weather." In 2012, Google debuted the knowledge graph, which employs semantic search to comprehend and find meanings of and linkages among people, places, and things.

"What Google is beginning to do is share some of the knowledge in the world that humans have in their minds, so users can begin to communicate with Google in a way that’s much more natural to their thinking," says Google's Ben Gomes. He envisions a future in which Google can answer more complex questions, such as "How far is it from here to the Eiffel Tower?"

From The New York Times
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