An audience hungry for more knowledge about what Google is doing with structured data got its fill late in the day Tuesday at the Semantic Technology & Business Conference. Jason Douglas, Group Product Manager, Knowledge Graph, presented to the SRO crowd the link between semantic technology and structured data to the changing world of search.
“Search is changing dramatically because users’ lives are changing dramatically,” Douglas said. “We carry our computers with us. The Internet is with us all the time.” While a decade ago the library analogy worked for search, but increasingly users need more on-the-go, just-in-time information. So, today’s search analogy, he said, is more along the lines of the personal assistant – it’s more about giving users answers, and anticipating their needs.
The only way to meet those requirements is for search engines to have an understanding of the real world, to be the virtual equivalent of a real-world personal assistant who knows what and where things are and how they relate to each other. “On the answer side, if we actually know things about the world, it’s not just answering questions [themselves], but providing all kinds of context that helps in different ways,” Douglas said.