Google is reportedly in the process of giving its Web-search formula a major makeover in an attempt to fix its shortcomings and maintain its dominance in the search market. In the coming months, the company is looking to use “semantic search” to analyze words and phrases and present more facts and direct answers to questions at the top of each results page. The changes are among the company’s biggest and could affect millions of websites that rely on Google’s current page-ranking results, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. A top Google search executive said that semantic search will allow the company to better match queries from a database containing hundreds of millions of “entities” — such as people, places and things — that the company has quietly built up over the past two years. For example, people who search for “Lake Tahoe” with semantic search will see “attributes” of the lake, such as its location, altitude and average temperature or salt content, while those who searched for it today would only get links.
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