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Accuracy and relevance have been vital to search marketing, but new models claim to take this one step further. So, just how close are search engines getting to thinking like humans? Stuart Derrick investigates.
Nothing stands still for long in search. Early versions of search engines, such as Ask Jeeves, encouraged us to believe that artificial intelligence was advanced enough for them to understand complex questions and deliver accurate answers.
The reality was different. Users quickly realised that millions of results did not guarantee the right answer. For brands, the sheer quantity of results returned challenged them to fight for a higher place in the search rankings.
While the rise of search engine optimisation (SEO) and paid search enabled brands with enough clout to appear on that all-important first page of results, consumers have become smarter in the way they search, and more demanding. As well as searching for text, they often seek images, video, maps, news and reviews, to name a few.
Fiona Flintham, head of search and analytics at publisher DK & Rough Guides, says with content across print, desktops, mobile and tablets, a key challenge for brands is to enable consumers to find and enjoy formats on the device they like best. 'We continue to place emphasis on connecting our …