Semantic Search and the Semantic Web

When I want to see what’s up in the search world, sometimes I google news “semantic search” to see if anything interesting has happened. 

Something that I’ve noticed is that people seem to be be confusing Semantic Search with the Semantic Web. (Example 1, Example 2)  Or maybe I’m confused.  From what I understand, the Semantic Web is a particular idea, first launched years ago, that involves metatags, RDFs, data exchange layers etc.  The idea would be to formalize the content of the internet to make it more useful, and to help people filter out what they aren’t interested in.  I’m on the sceptical side of that one.  So is Cory Doctorow. 

But Semantic Search is totally different.  Semantic search the way Trovix does it doesn’t require anything of the web page or document in order to be added to a semantic framework. We do all the heavy lifting of tagging the concepts into a tree, and building the indexes so they can be searched from a conceptual and contextual perspective.  That means you can say “show me the resume of a mid level bean counter” and we can do it, even if the accountant in question calls himself experienced. 

The problem with confusing the two is that the Semantic Web is a super long ways off if you listen to the proponents. And if you listen to the sceptics, you’d write the idea off all together.  But semantic search is already able to provide huge value in verticals. The employment space is a massive vertical market. $55 billion is spent by corporations on hiring in the US each year.  We’re not waiting for the semantic web to make search better for people. 

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One Response to “Semantic Search and the Semantic Web”

  1. Mans Shapshak Says:

    What is also very important is the user interface for using the semantic information. Since the semantic web is much more rich in its realtionships the information architecture and hence the visualization paradigms need to be more advanced than we have today.

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