Thursday, February 03, 2005

Y!Q contextual search

Yahoo just launched Y!Q, a "contextual search technology that analyzes the contents of the Web page you're viewing and then gives you a list of search results directly related to what you're reading."

From Jeremy Zawodny's post on the Yahoo Search blog:
    The fundamental idea was to supplement search queries with context. So instead of having to spend a lot of time searching and assembling all the information you're after, this contextual search technology could incorporate that context (the stuff you were reading at you moment you decided that you wanted to know more) to find the most relevant results.
It appears that Y!Q does keyword extraction from a web page, then runs a search using the extracted keywords. Not a new idea, but interesting to see it launched by Yahoo. If the quality of the search results is high, it can easy way to discover related web pages. But it's quite a challenge to get high quality related pages with this technique.

Jeremy points to Reiner Kraft as the primary researcher behind Y!Q. And Reiner has a recent paper, "Mining Anchor Text for Query Refinement" (PDF), that seems related to the techniques behind Y!Q. The paper describes one of several approaches for doing this kind of keyword extraction.

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