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June 21, 2007

Relevant Contextual Phrase Searching Engine? Xerox Introduces FactSpotter and Search Evolves

Xerox has announced the release into "beta" of its new search engine called FactSpotter developed in part by Xerox scientist Frédérique Segond, and rightfully dubbed the semantic search engine. The technology if handled properly could give the big engines a run for their money.

Normal search engines match results based on the relevant keywords and their distribution in the theme of the entire document, consistent with the search terms. FactSpotter does that and better. This engine matches results by attempting to interpret the context that contains query the words within the document. So for example if you searched for "head master" the engine would be able to identify that key phrase as one, and return results for headmaster, and head master. As opposed to results like head bands, or master clubs. Another example is words that mean the same thing like boss and employer. I see it as being very user friendly, after they are retrained to search in everyday language!

In beta the engine will be used my large law offices to search huge pools of documents.

Google is said to have developed and implemented some semantic technology in to its search protocol, but I was unable to find any information. Only a "rumor" article from 2005.

Xerox was able to obtain the following patents on the technology

Systems and methods for authoritativeness grading,estimation and sorting of documents
in large heterogeneous document collections

System and method for viewing search results

Collaborative searching by query induction

Search engine with structured contextual clustering

System and method for improving answer relevance in meta-search engines

Systems and methods for performing crawl searches and index searches

User Query Generate Search Results That Rank Set Of Servers Where Ranking Is Based On Comparing Content On Each Server With User Query, Frequency At Which Content On Each Server Is Altered Using Web Crawler In A Search Engine

We know MSN was working on this in 2004, but apparently too little to late. Here is the official news release from 6/20/2007. Very Nice! Bravo.

Peace and SEO