As Keyword Search Becomes Less Effective

What is the simplest, most effective way of explaining the power of the Semantic Web? Semantic Search which works 10 times better than the current Search technologies may be one of them.

Today a typical Google search returns up to hundreds of thousands or even millions of results — but we only really look at the first page or two of results. What about the other results we don’t look at? There is a lot of room to improve the productivity of search, and the help people deal with increasingly large collections of information.

According to Nova Spivack in Beyond Keyword Search:

Starting with the “data web” enabled by RDF, OWL, ontologies and SPARQL, structured data is becoming increasingly accessible, searchable and mashable. This in turn sets the stage for a better form of search: semantic search. Semantic search combines the best of keyword, natural language, database and associative search capabilities together.

Sounds promising. Here are some thoughts:

  • Google works on web pages as they stand today. A Semantic Search would require additional meta data for the web. Who is going to do it?
  • Some common folksonomies or ontologies need to develop (bottoms up)
  • There may be some innovative ways of solving the encoding problem – dbpedia is one of those
  • Moving to XML document formats (whether ODF of OOXML) is a good first step

It is more than likely that the Semantic Search may start at the Government and Corporate enterprise level where it is easier to standardize data formats (read XML) and metadata formats. There are several efforts at Semantic Markup of data which may help.