#1
  1. Philip@SearchBenefit.com
    SEO Chat Good Citizen (1000 - 1499 posts)

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    1,388
    Rep Power
    1010

    Latent Search, Semantic, Conversational Search


    Search pros, let's discuss this. This Business Insider piece is about the situation and the big players in 'latent search" (ie conversational search):
    Google, Apple, Facebook And 'Latent' Search - Business Insider

    A good read. I was surprised by the term "latent search" to refer to "conversational search," but then I realized "latent" came from LSI -- latent semantic indexing.

    Surprisingly, the author suggests or implies that other Google's switch to semantic search in Hummingbird is merely a reaction to Facebook's Graph Search and other advanced trends in search. There is also a fairly stupid quote from Larry Kim at Wordstream (who however seems great at "newsjacking"), used apparently to support this argument.

    That's sheer nonsense, in my view, and unfair to Google, which is far and away the leader and trend-setter in the area of semantic search, and search innovation in general.
  2. #2
  3. No Profile Picture
    Contributing User
    SEO Chat Discoverer (100 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    209
    Rep Power
    137
    Phillip,

    An interesting read, so thanks for the link...

    I agree that the articles undersells Google's presence in the semantic search space a bit (and also oversells the impact of Graph Search). What the article seems to ignore in my mind is that results from Graph Search are going to be limited to Facebook users. If I'm looking for a great new Mexican restaurant in my neighborhood, then perhaps Graph Search might deliver a more interesting or relevant result. If I'm looking for medical information, directions when traveling in a strange town, comparison shopping for spark plugs, etc, etc, Graph Search is simply not going to return a better result than Google or Bing for that matter.
  4. #3
  5. Agency SEO
    SEO Chat Mastermind (5000+ posts)

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,201
    Rep Power
    2868
    Originally Posted by PhilipSEO
    A good read. I was surprised by the term "latent search" to refer to "conversational search," but then I realized "latent" came from LSI -- latent semantic indexing.
    The first thread I started here: Weight / Links (also my first negative rep lol)
    Three words for you bro, Latent Semantic Indexing.
    I don't see a lot of evidence that Google "switched" anything. Hummingbird reminds me of caffeine... more of an update that sorts the algorithm's infrastructure for future updates than an immediate change in elements of SEO that Google uses to rank websites.
    Last edited by KernelPanic; Oct 29th, 2013 at 04:44 AM.
  6. #4
  7. justanotherseoguy
    SEO Chat Discoverer (100 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    128
    Rep Power
    59
    There is a difference between phrase-based indexing and latent semantic indexing, the 2 are not the same thing.
    Phrase-based indexing (which possibly exists at Google, but you know how "consistent" - irony implied- it is about implementing patents) was well described by Bill Slawski Phrasification and Revisiting Google's Phrase Based Indexing - SEO by the Sea It's basically listing pages under phrases. For example:

    What is Java?
    - doc 1
    - doc 2
    - doc 3
    vs. When is the next flight to Java?
    - doc 4
    - doc 5

    Latent semantic indexing Latent semantic indexing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is really grouping keywords according to contexts in which they often co-occur.
    Which is basically listing pages under keyword contexts. For example:

    Java (the programming language )
    - doc 1
    - doc 2
    - doc 3
    vs. Java (the island)
    - doc 4
    - doc 5

    What's interesting is that Google never officially confirmed (to the best of my knowledge) that it uses any of the 2 methods to reshuffle search results.
    Proof That Google Does Not Use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)

    By the way, Facebook and Apple still suck at search big time, and the quoted article is another example of how entertaining mainstream media can be when they try to do a serious writeup on search.

    Recently, people began spending more time on average inside Facebook than with Google,according to comScore.
    ComScore needs to get its methodology straight in my opion. Anyone knows if they're still counting sheer hit numbers, not unique users?
  8. #5
  9. Agency SEO
    SEO Chat Mastermind (5000+ posts)

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,201
    Rep Power
    2868
    Originally Posted by sparks43
    What's interesting is that Google never officially confirmed (to the best of my knowledge) that it uses any of the 2 methods to reshuffle search results.
    Proof That Google Does Not Use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)
    Thanks for the thoughtful post, well done. I do have to say however that I know you know better than to post a 3 year old article as proof that Google is doing anything!
  10. #6
  11. justanotherseoguy
    SEO Chat Discoverer (100 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    128
    Rep Power
    59
    Originally Posted by KernelPanic
    Thanks for the thoughtful post, well done. I do have to say however that I know you know better than to post a 3 year old article as proof that Google is doing anything!
    Well, here is the thing. It was published when everyone was saying that Google did use LSI.

Similar Threads

  1. Latent semantic indexing
    By sprintdriver in forum Google Optimization
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Jul 12th, 2011, 03:34 AM
  2. Latent Semantic Analysis
    By Jeny_Dan in forum Google Optimization
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Oct 5th, 2009, 05:54 AM
  3. Latent semantic indexing (LSI) What it is ?
    By seodilip in forum Google Optimization
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: Sep 21st, 2006, 01:16 AM
  4. Search Engines and Algorithms: Semantic Search
    By SEO Chat in forum SEO Chat Articles
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Jan 11th, 2006, 09:00 AM

IMN logo majestic logo threadwatch logo seochat tools logo