London, March 15: Global internet services company Yahoo has announced that it will adopt some of the key standards of the "semantic web" to improve its search engine. The technology, considered to be the next step for the World Wide Web, involves a much richer understanding of the masses of data placed online.
Amit Kumar, director of product management for the company's search site, has revealed in Yahoo's blog that they will include some semantic web identifiers while indexing the web for Yahoo search. Currently, most search engines, especially Google, use the interconnections between sites to identify relevance for a particular topic. Since the semantic web helps to capture the meaning of data on a page, it can enable a user searching the web to work out its relevance to a particular topic.
The semantic web promises to change this because it helps to capture the meaning of data on a page and so give machines classifying or searching the web the capability to work out its relevance to a particular topic. The company's move is being seen as a big boost for semantic web technologies, which have struggled to win a big audience.
Kumar say that the average web user has so far not felt the benefits of the advancement being made on how to classify meaning on webpages, and he attributes it to the lack of a compelling reason or 'Killer app" to use the semantic web technology.
"We believe that app can be web search," the BBC quoted him as writing in an entry on Yahoo's blog.
Professor Wendy Hall from the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton and a director of the Web Research Science Initiative, feels that Yahoo's move to the semantic web could help it compete with arch-rival Google, which has grown on the back of indexing documents rather than objects.