According to Chris Sherman’s recent post Google will start to mix news with Web search results. We, at hakia, looked at each other and asked “aren’t we already doing that?” The answer is Yes, since last August. Not only did we introduce this freshness booster last year, we have also doubled the capacity of news volume to be mixed with Web search results in our latest BETA update.
The bigger news is that searching “news” is nothing but a long tail experience. Since there is literally no time to collect statistics to determine popularity, most search engines are using the short-cut method: a long list of “trigger” words. If your query is “Britney,” for example, then you are likely to see some news at a designated spot on the results page. However, you may not see the same news result if you enter “singer with post-partum depression.” The news article for the first query will not show up for the second query because it did not contain the right trigger. You have to try this experiment with a news article that is only few hours old. When the news get older, it may show up from the archives, and then that is besides the point.
Google says it will give up the practice of designating a space for news, and start mixing them with Web search results using a new “no-trigger” algorithm. It means search for better search is on its way, and we wish them good luck in this new endeavor.
The only proper way of handling long tail searches, whether it is for news or anything else, is to deploy a full-scale, uncompromised semantic search capability. If your algorithm can understand the text and the query, and if it can find the matching concepts (not only the words) in a split second, then you don’t have to collect statistics while the news rot. Nor would you need a trigger list. And thatâ€™s the news from hakia.