Is Google Serious about Exploratory Search?

February 2, 2009
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I just noticed this post by Sarah Perez on ReadWriteWeb: “Google: “We’re Not Doing a Good Job with Structured Data“. Here is the excerpt that caught my attention:

The company wants to be able to separate exploratory queries (e.g., “Vietnam travel”) from ones where a user is in search of a particular fact (”Vietnam population”). The former query should deliver information about visa requirements, weather and tour packages, etc.

While I’m not sure how important it is to automatically distinguish between “exploratory queries” and fact-finding ones, I absolutely agree that neither Google nor its web search rivals have delivered much in the way of exploratory search capabilities to users.

Alon Halevy, who is leading up Google’s “deep web” efforts, seems to understand the problem, even if I might quibble on some of the details. The question is: how does he plan to solve it? And how will his solution integrate with Google’s decidedly non-exploratory approach to information seeking?

I just noticed this post by Sarah Perez on ReadWriteWeb: “Google: “We’re Not Doing a Good Job with Structured Data“. Here is the excerpt that caught my attention:

The company wants to be able to separate exploratory queries (e.g., “Vietnam travel”) from ones where a user is in search of a particular fact (”Vietnam population”). The former query should deliver information about visa requirements, weather and tour packages, etc.

While I’m not sure how important it is to automatically distinguish between “exploratory queries” and fact-finding ones, I absolutely agree that neither Google nor its web search rivals have delivered much in the way of exploratory search capabilities to users.

Alon Halevy, who is leading up Google’s “deep web” efforts, seems to understand the problem, even if I might quibble on some of the details. The question is: how does he plan to solve it? And how will his solution integrate with Google’s decidedly non-exploratory approach to information seeking?

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