Search engines on the Internet typically offer links to other web sites in response to a user's search inquires. Now it appears that Google will be offering up more specific answers on their own in addition to those web links. The Wall Street Journal reports that the search changes will begin sometime in the next few months.
Basically, if a person has a specific question, they will soon be able to type that question in a Google search box and get a specific answer on top of the normal web link search results. This new approach is called semantic search, which implies that the search engine actually understands the question that has been typed in. The normal method is the keyword search which looks for the words themselves on other web sites.
Google has been collecting a database for the past two years with information that would be used to provide answers for its semantic search results. For example, it could simply list the 10 largest lakes in California if a person asked for that information in their search inquires. Some Google search results already offer these kinds of direct answers, such as solutions to some math problems or the current time in Amsterdam.
When these changes come to pass, it could also affect a large number of web sites that depend on Google's current search results in order to receive visitors and web traffic. The story says that an unnamed source which is familiar with Google's plans claims that the search changes could affect between 10 and 20 percent of all search results.
These changes are also designed so that Google users will stay on the web site for longer periods of time, which could also improve Google's advertising revenues. We have already seen how one now former Google employee feels that the company is concentrating too much effort to boost its advertising business.