Search engine report
EC refines search systems

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The European Commission last week promised funding for a project to make
internet searches faster and more precise. The EC said the project would
develop technology to help search engines identify the subject matter of
web pages and help internet users find the information they want in the
large number of unstructured web pages.

Search engine report

The European Commission last week promised funding for a project to make
internet searches faster and more precise. The EC said the project would
develop technology to help search engines identify the subject matter of
web pages and help internet users find the information they want in the
large number of unstructured web pages.

The Semantically-Enabled
Knowledge Technologies project (Sekt) is intended to create internet
search tools that emulate the human ability to analyse the content and
context of information indexed.

According to the EC, the
technology will be able to extract details such as author name, product
codes and pricing information. Once this information has been identified
it can be catalogued and exploited to make searches more effective.

Daniele Rizzi of the EC said, “It is wonderful to have so much information
available to us but we have to learn how to harness it.” As an example
the EC suggested that the banking industry would benefit from being able
to search for the term “ATM” for automated teller machine without
receiving links to sites relating to asynchronous transfer mode, a term
used in network switching.

Danny Sullivan of industry web site
Search Engine Watch said that this type of searching had been tried
before, and added that it would be better for search sites to offer
refinement tools.

“A search for ATM will by default produce
matches on both types,” Sullivan commented. “Classifying the pages
conceptually could be helpful, but more important is getting the user to
give you more information.”

Sullivan said that a search using
Vivisimos clustering engine would offer automatic categorisation; and
meta-search software would provide catalogued pages by bank, transfer
mode and so on; and added that searches using Yahoo also offer chosen
topic categories.

Interestingly Sullivan could only point to one
search facility that did not offer such refinement options, “Its Google,
notably, that doesnt offer much in the way of query refinement for its
users. Thats a big oversight, in my opinion.”

Twelve European
partners will contribute to the project, including the UKs BT Exact, BTs
research technology and IT operations business. BT said that an offshoot
of Sekt would be the development of proactive technology that could
deliver information to users based on their previous searches and
recognised interests. It said that alerts about relevant information
could be sent to mobile phones, or as emails with relevant information
attached.


Vivisimo


Yahoo