The semantic search panel was very very interesting. There were representatives from Ask, Bing, Google, and Yahoo! to answer questions about semantic search and share insight into the future of semantic technologies and their approach to it.
Remember when Web 2.0 was supposed to be about “the semantic Web”? Social media hijacked Web 2.0, but heavyweights in the Semantic world have been quietly advancing the reality of true semantic technology and they’re already claiming the Web 3.0 tag. With applications from better contextual ads, to personalized news, to government spying, is Semantic next year’s technology darling?
Dana Todd, CMO, Newsforce
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Lane Soelberg, Founder & CEO, COOP Ventures
Nova Spivack, Founder and CEO, Radar Networks/Twine
Jason Menayan, Director of Marketing, YieldBuild
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1990 – 2000 = Web 1.0 – Directories/keywords
2000 – 2010 = Web 2.0 – Tagging
2010-2020 = Web 3.0 – Semantic Search / Natural Language
Semantic future is the mergence of semantic and social media. API integration is the key to this.
Ask.com is aiming answer queries by “less relation to the relevance of the page and more relation to the simple answer of the query”. They are focusing heavily on the semantic of the “user query” over “document side” semantics.
Yahoo! aims for more structured data for more relevant results from Yahoo Search Monkey. They claim that upwards to 50% of search relevance is via structured data.
Bing’s focus is similar to asks in that they are aiming for query-level semantics while still putting a heavy emphasis on the document-level.
Google talked about the importance rich snippets and how they are progressing the integration of social and local key value pair attributes (prices, reviews, stars, etc) with them.
What also was talked about was the different languages and technologies being used for semantic search and how they’re different.
- Semantic - OWL/RDF
- General - Dublin Core / FOAF
- Specific - Microformat
I’d like to see panels like this continue to combat with the information being provided at the 2009 Semantic Technology Conference which I regretfully missed. On a related note, Richard Baxter has written a good post on structured markup and the future of SEO that I’d recommend reading.