Barbara Starr of Search Engine Land recently wrote, "Although there has been some argument within the academic community that the Semantic Web 'never happened,' it is blatantly clear that Google has adopted its own version of it. Other search and social engines have as well — I wrote an article back in September 2012 discussing how search and social engines are adopting the Semantic Web and semantic search, and gave a timeline of the adoption of semantic search by both the search and social engines. It was very apparent, even then, that the search engines were moving in the direction of becoming answer engines, and that they were increasingly leveraging the Semantic Web and semantic search technology."
Starr continues, "Prior to the advent of Hummingbird, we already saw semantic search techniques being used increasingly at every stage of the search process. At a higher level, you can define them approximately as: (1) Constructing The Query: Google has shifted toward a better understanding of natural language, form-based or template-based queries, which makes search less reliant on users inputting precise keywords in order to return the results they’re looking for… (2) Retrieving Relevant Information Resulting From The Query: Google is increasingly producing answers in addition to results. They’ve also become adept at understanding and suggesting relevant entities to a given query. (3) Presenting The Results To The User: Google has tested various ways of presenting the data, documents and appropriate information summaries to the user in an engaging manner. Blended search results, Knowledge Graph entries, and rich snippets are all examples of this."
Image: Courtesy Google