Earlier this month, Google made headlines in several publications regarding semantic search – updates to the search engine that would allow it to better understand a user’s intent and serve better results. The Wall Street Journal covered the update, saying that a refresh was coming to better answer users’ questions. Internet Retailer covered the story as well, speculating whether or not the changes to Google’s search engine would hurt or help advertisers. And then Danny Sullivan stepped in and explained in his methodical manner why this wasn’t NEW news, but possibly a result of Google’s PR team needing to remove focus from less positive developments.
Across all three publications, the impact of the news on advertisers wasn’t clear.
From WSJ: “It’s also unclear exactly how Google’s search ads—which appear next to search results and are handled by separate teams inside the company—would change in response to the overhaul. But people briefed on the initiative said that if the search engine better understands the meaning or intent behind people’s search queries, Google could find a way to show them more relevant ads.”
From Internet Retailer: “Google, however, expects to continue innovating new ways to present paid search ads as well as overall search results, a source familiar with the company’s plans says.”
Solving for Relevance at Scale
Interestingly enough, Adchemy is taking the same approach Google is taking — trying to better understand a user’s intent to serve better results. However, instead of improving algorithmic search results, Adchemy is focused on improving paid search results by leveraging user intent to improve relevance at scale across millions of keywords.
The fact that Google is focusing on intent is terrific validation of Adchemy’s approach. We’re confident that the online experience can be dramatically improved — to both the benefit of consumers and advertisers — if the industry can focus more on the intent behind the query, rather than just the query per se. And Google seems to think so too.