25 March 2009

FT Unveils Semantic Search Service

The Financial Times has launched a new search service dedicated exclusively to business-related content.

Beta project Newssift differs from Google and other search engines as it trawls only material related to specific topics rather than searching the web as a whole – known as deep search.

Spokesman John Greenleaf said this aspect has helped the FT create “an exclusive content library”.

According to The Guardian’s PDA blog, the service also differs from mainstream search engines as it is based entirely on semantic search rather than keyword search.

This concentrates on meanings and relations between terms or concepts and so aims to produce more relevant search results and recommended articles of further interest.

It is also resistant to efforts by content providers to boost search rankings using search engine optimization tactics, claimed Greenleaf.

Visitors to the site can create their own search queries or use the existing options divided into categories such as organisation, place and person.

And the results page boasts a couple of interesting features with a Sentiment pie chart showing the proportion of positive/neutral/negative articles and a Sources pie chart displaying the share of content from newspapers, TV, news wires etc.

The search facility is free to use and is currently supported by display advertising.

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