Oingo, the meaning based search engine debuted in 1998 i.e. at the time when keywords and relevancy alone were the driving factors for online content, the engine definitely has to have certain clear fundamental technologies and databases in place. Started by a duo of CalTech alumni Adam Weissman and Gil Elbaz, the engine differentiated itself as a meaning engine and not a natural language processing engine.
At the core, the engine differentiates on the context of words by leveraging the association between words and concepts from ‘Wordnet’, lexicon developed over the 15 years by researchers at Princeton University. The results returned thus contain content that may match to the concept intended but nit have any of the words explicitly entered by the user. The engine also provides the user the option to sort out the contexts in which the words are used and to refine the search.
Also Oingo was based on the Open Directory Project which provided an index of documents of good proportion and content. Oingo marketed itself as a context search engine to businesses licensing them its cross referencing database.
So where is Oingo?
So why is there not much current news on the engine?
Well, Applied Semantics, formerly known as Oingo Inc was acquired by none other than Google way back in 2003. So that speaks volumes on the contextual accuracy of Google’s Ad programs and also about the semantic potential in the search algorithms powering the most successful search engine on the planet.
Here is the excerpt from the Google Press Release
“Applied Semantics is a proven innovator in semantic text processing and online advertising,” said Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder and president of Technology. “This acquisition will enable Google to create new technologies that make online advertising more useful to users, publishers, and advertisers alike.”
Well, that seems to answer why such an engine seemed so much out of current news circles. Google’s knack of sniffing a future technology is one factor for its continued unassailable dominance in search.