Semanti leverages Facebook Connect to help users harvest more personalized results from Google, Microsoft Bing and Yahoo search engines. The semantic search tool is a Firefox browser plug-in that users can download free as a way to turn their mathematical, algorithm-based results into social recommendations.
Semanti, which makes a Firefox browser add-on
that augments search results from Google, Yahoo
and Microsoft Bing, is looking to help users bridge the gap between search
engines and the Facebook social network, which boasts more than 200 million
The tool is a step in solving the problem of trying
to find information based on what social network friends like and
suggest instead of some randomized search results returned by Google,
Microsoft and Yahoo search
The startup June 23 has added the capability to let users
leverage its semantic search tool in conjunction with the Facebook Connect
service to share more relevant, socially driven information. The free plug-in
sits in users' Firefox browsers as a toolbar, waiting to turn Google, Microsoft
Bing and Yahoo Search into social recommendation engines.
How does it work? When a user installs Semanti and does a
search, the Semanti MyWeb tool lets them personalize search results by clicking
on a button to save Web page results. MyWeb stores the entire page's text along
with the user's search terms.
This tool remembers the search queries a user entered so
the next time a user searches for something comparable, the Web page will show
up in the Semanti results. This will work for not just the searcher who entered
the results, but for anyone doing searches in the future. Think of it as a
virtual bookmark of sorts. When the user searches for the page again, they can
find it using Google, Yahoo or Microsoft Bing.
The Semanti tool searches the text on the user's saved
pages as well as the search terms originally used to find those pages and then
displays matching results above the usual search engine results. Since the
Semanti add-on saves the pages online, users can access pages from any computer
without having to worry about whether or not their saved Web pages are on that
Starting today, users can download the plug-in and invite
Facebook friends to use Semanti as well. Then, using Google, Microsoft Bing and
Yahoo search engines, friends search and click on links they find relevant to
their inquiries. When a user conducts a search based on a specific topic, their
friends' results and recommendations appear at the top of their search engine
results marked as being endorsed by their Facebook friends.
For example, Semanti said that a user
searching for a new restaurant will benefit from seeing which restaurants their
Facebook friends have researched and saved. The idea is that a restaurant recommended
by a friend has far more relevance to an individual than one that shows up in a
general Web search.
Where do the semantic search methods come in? While
semantic search methodologies typically rely on natural language search, Semanti's
Suggest software helps users specify the exact meaning of their search terms
via a drop-down menu.
With Suggest, users get results that match what they mean
rather than what they say. So, users entering the query "shop" may
well see the words "store and "retailer" in the drop-down menu
as alternative results.
When a user finds a result he or she likes, the person then
clicks on a button to save the page, marking it as relevant. This enables users
to benefit from crowdsourcing because each approved Web page becomes available
to the Semanti community.
Though the Semanti plug-in is free, Semanti CEO Bruce
Johnson said he hoped to make money through placing ads alongside Semanti