Categorized | Senuke

Does Google recognize the difference between different meanings of a word in a query?

Matt, when will Google recognize the difference between boxer (the dog), boxer (the figher) and boxer (briefs) based on the context of the query? Francisco, North Attleboro Have a question? Ask it in our Webmaster Help Forum: Want your question to be answered on a video like this? Follow us on Twitter and look for an announcement when we take new questions: More videos: Webmaster Central Blog: Webmaster Central:
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16 Comments For This Post

  1. gutterdog212000 Says:

    I’m seeing that.

  2. ZMYaro Says:

    I have noticed how Google pretty much always gets the meaning I intended. Well done.

  3. Josso000 Says:

    @NoirNG Yeah, Google does learn what you’re searching for. I’m on a Mac and search for mac-stuff all the time. Once in a while I need to find something for Windows and Google nearly only shows Mac-stuff even though it’s Windows-only apps. :p
    It’s really nice – but it can be annoying.

  4. NoirNG Says:

    @pricop2007 I’m not really complaining, it’s a very useful feature. ^^

  5. pricop2007 Says:

    @NoirNG Ok, you have to know that Google look at your previous searches when you do a new search in order to provide you the best result, if you search a lot about PHP, and then search for “time”, they will return you what they think you’ve might be interested in, if you open a new tab in INCOGNITO mode and type for “time” then you will get the results without any history back.

    Thanks Matt for clarifying this.

  6. nevinvannest Says:

    Thanks for the post Matt. I actually think Google is doing a fairly accurate job of this already. Keep up the good work. Always enjoy the new videos!

  7. NoirNG Says:

    It is scary how good Google is at finding what I want for really generic terms. When I search “time”, I get the PHP time function as the first result (I’m a PHP developer and often cruise php /DOT/ net). For other generic function names, most of the time the exact page I look for is in the first search results. O_O

  8. StopDropAndROFL Says:

    does google translate do this too

  9. anatolian20 Says:

    was a useful and nice question. I think Matt tried to say:”When Google start recognizing the difference between them as we do, it will turn out to be a human being, one of us.” lol

    IMHO, in one word queries the proportion might be low in detecting the correct one but in two or more word queries Google does a great job.

  10. itskelz Says:

    Sounds like Francisco of North Attleboro wants Google Search to be a little more like Watson of the famed Ken and Brad-Crushing Team IBM.

  11. rizlmilk Says:

    @XtrimVerSuS Google doesn’t remember people, it remembers specific computers/IPs 😉 If I search on my computer then go to the library and search something else, it won’t know it’s the same person unless I’m logged in.

  12. svivian Says:

    @yehudaraizner uh… maybe you need to think about that a little more. That’s not going to help, is it? Google already knows which pages are about boxers the fighters and which are about boxers the dogs. The question was about how does Google determine which one the user is looking for.

  13. bigal21110 Says:

    @yehudaraizner ya Microformats are web 3.0 thing but I can see a huge misuse of them once they become as popular (just like meta tags)

  14. yehudaraizner Says:

    There is a way to hundle with the issue.
    its called microformats- another layer of data you can add to your page code so search engines able to know what is the query about.
    There are microformats for humans, for products etc
    so if you wanna say boxer is a fiter, you better use microformats pareameters to help search engines understand what is your site about. due to this the engine will index your site in more relevant way.
    more info about microformats you can fing in google help

  15. XtrimVerSuS Says:

    @rizlmilk Yes, but Google remeberes better than anyone what you asked last month. And if you asked one year ago about dogs and now you ask about boxers, there are big chances for google to know that you mean boxer as a dog. A human I don’t think would have suck a good memory. That’s why Google is the man’s best friend. 🙂

  16. rizlmilk Says:

    If you to ask a human “How do I train a boxer?” they would ask “Do you mean a dog or a fighter?” Considering Google is made by humans, it is safe to assume that it would need more information as well.

    So unless Google has a history of your searches building evidence that you are a dog person or a fighting fan, this will not likely be solved.

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