Google to start offering real answers to search results

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.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Internet Explorer 10's Enhanced Protected Mode described

Next Story

Mozilla outlines development plans for Firefox in 2012

24 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

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.

There.. John used to be just someone who post the news. Now he's joining the group that hate Google by adding personal opinion on news article. Or, is it becoming the rule at Neowin?

Read the title and just thought: Ask Jeeves.

Sounds handy. My concerns are how this could affect some websites negatively, and secondly, Google are able to capture and identify more data from users.

I give this a thumbs up - Bing has been trying to do this, but I haven't really seen the results. I'm almost certain that google will do a good job.

From the article: "...which implies that the search engine actually understands the question that has been typed in..."

If you type "What is Neowin" in TrueKnowlege, at the bottom it will show the question "interpretation" as per its algorithm rules: "Please show me a profile of Neowin.net, the technology news site that actively focuses on Windows, Mac and Linux."

That looks to me as "understanding the question" using natural language.

Asking it "How old was Einstein when he died?", it replies: "76 years, 1 month and 4 days old"
This requires a profound understanding of the question, as its shown in its reply summary:

-----------------------------------
What is the age (length of time since creation) of Albert Einstein (14 March 1879 - 18 April 1955), the German-born theoretical physicist who discovered the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics at the time of his death

Assuming you meant
Albert Einstein (14 March 1879 - 18 April 1955), the German-born theoretical physicist who discovered the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics
-----------------------------------

That to me is what the article describes what Google is trying/going to implement....

this going to be a more comprehensive implementation of what they have going on now.
examples :
type in a flight number. google will tell you all about it without sending you to flights.com
ask for the weather, np.... ask for google to convert something, it's a calculator...

I switched to DuckDuckGo recently. The best way to describe it: The Little Search Engine That Could. It's really awesome, plus, they don't track or bubble you.

The Stark said,
I switched to DuckDuckGo recently. The best way to describe it: The Little Search Engine That Could. It's really awesome, plus, they don't track or bubble you.

Isn't it awesome to know that you are the only one who is using a specific search engine?? lolz....

Google already does something like this, and I'm not talking about the calculator. Try searching for "height of mount everest". The answer is shown before the first result. Or try "how old is mel gibson". Same thing. For queries where there is a single, simple, generally accepted answer, it works fairly well. And as far as I can remember, it's been around for a couple of years now. Also, try the same thing in Bing. It does something similar. Oddly enough, Bing uses Freebase which is owned by... Google.

Now from this article, it sounds like an expansion of this functionality that Google's been looking at for the past few years rather than something entirely new.

That's good. Now people can ask it retarded questions like I hear them asking Siri like "is so-and-so gay" and "who's butt is bigger",....you know, the important stuff.

GreenMartian said,
I reckon this is more Wolfram Alpha than Wikipedia.

Vastness of Google's coverage of web and its target of being social would certainly mean that down the line they would allow users to interact with that result to take free input / edit from them to increase their content..

Yes i agree may be they would serve the results as Wolfarm Alpha but I am suspecting (after reading http://www.neowin.net/news/for...employee-gives-company-a--1 ) they will take the same approach as Wiki to bring in free content writers for increasing their coverage of topics and answers..

Choto Cheeta said,
I guess they want to redo the wikipedia concept in different way.. Answer to everything..

It's more of a WolframAlpha kind of thing, by the sounds of it.

Choto Cheeta said,
I guess they want to redo the wikipedia concept in different way.. Answer to everything..

Well they already sort of do. You can type in most mathematical equations and it will do it. It will also tell you the weather if you ask it and even convert money all without having to go into a website so I guess this is just an expansion or that which is really cool

Choto Cheeta said,

..and its target of being social would certainly mean that down the line they would allow users to interact with that result to take free input / edit from them to increase their content..


I dunno. All their social experimentations to date have not been exactly successful..

Ently said,

Well they already sort of do. You can type in most mathematical equations and it will do it. It will also tell you the weather if you ask it and even convert money all without having to go into a website so I guess this is just an expansion or that which is really cool

Only works for simple addition/multiplication for me. So no useful equations.

GreenMartian said,

I dunno. All their social experimentations to date have not been exactly successful..

That's what i am saying.. One more coming I guess