Google, Yahoo and other search engines sort the whole Web via keywords. But a new-in-beta search engine, Newssift.com, could make it easier for enterprise and business users to hunt down specific business news, due to search algorithms based on meaning and context. Other startup search engines such as About.com and Hakia have also used semantics and natural-language processing to help narrowly refine searches.
and other search-engine companies have cornered the market on search via keywords.
However, other organizations have seen opportunity in pushing their own search
engines that either sift information through alternate means or focus on a
narrow subset of subject matter-such as The Financial Times Group, which is
rolling out Newssift.com, designed to search through thousands of global news
sources through algorithms based on meaning and context.
Newssift.com, after sorting through those news sources, presents its search
results in a granular fashion. Say you type "Bill Gates" into its
search bar. The site will then allow you to further narrow the search by
presenting a number of secondary topics (listed under the categories
"Business Topic," "Organization," "Place,"
"Person" and "Theme") that are cross-indexed with the term
"Bill Gates," such as "Global Health," "World Economic
Forum" and "Google."
From there, the search can be further granulated, narrowing down the number
of news articles and reports issued as results.
"The audience we're focusing on is high-up executives who need
information to make decisions, as well as analysts and people in sales in
marketing," John Greenleaf, chief marketing officer of FT Search, the
company behind the site, said in an interview. "The results are driven
purely by relevance and date-there are no sponsored links."
The site's revenue stream will eventually come from ads and a subscription
One aspect of the search engine's natural-language processing is what
Greenleaf called "sentiment functionality," which determines based on
the text whether the results display a positive, negative or neutral sentiment
toward the subject. For example, articles on "Bill Gates" without any
other modifying search terms were 32.67 percent positive, 21.78 percent
negative and 45.54 percent neutral.
The site also displays the source of the various news and reports,
delineating whether they appeared as online news or blogs, in newspapers or
magazines, on a newswire, in research reports, or on television and radio.
Other sites have also been exploring new forms of search engines.
On Feb. 26, About.com
co-founder Jim Anderson helped announce the release of Dorthy.com,
engine that relies on AI and natural-language processing as opposed to keywords;
while this different algorithmic approach to search might not necessarily have
proved an instant Google-killer, it demonstrates that startups are thinking
about ways to sidestep the keyword-based search dominance of Google, Yahoo and
other major players.
Other search engines, such
have also attempted to utilize natural language processing to
generate more effective search results.
However, Google and Yahoo continue to dominate the overall search market.