David Amerland of Business2Community reports, “The web may be global but its effects are felt most acutely at a local level. While there have always been businesses that targeted a global market the bulk of business today are brick and mortar stores with a web presence or online businesses that have a local presence. Either way search that delivers global results when all you wanted to find was a pizza joint in your neighborhood is, understandably, less than satisfying. Thankfully search is changing. In the transition from Boolean search with its statistical text analysis properties to semantic search that uses ontology libraries to ascribe meaning to things Google has moved in what it famously calls “from strings to things”. The effects of the transition are noticed in two things that are part of the same phenomenon: First the fragmentation of search and second its intense personalization.”

He continues, “Google’s traditional desktop search has, of course, been fragmenting for some time. Google Local Search was an initiative that got under way in 2004. What is new in the semantic web is the degree to which Google personalizes the results so that the traditional ‘front page of Google’ now begins to become a largely meaningless phrase as each person carrying out a search will see something different. To do that Google now uses data from the person carrying out the search query that can include IP address, a GPS signal (for enabled mobile devices and smartphones), past search history, social history, search patterns, moving speed, the time of day, social network search patterns and personal reputation. The result is that search then becomes almost predictive in nature (which is what Google Now is of course) with results that are relevant and contextualized in a way that had not been possible until now.”

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Image: Courtesy Google