Search engines under the spotlight this week

I'm spending most of this week at the Intel Developer's Forum but also wanted to give some time to another show happening in the Bay Area this week: Search Engine Strategies, being held at the San Jose Convention Center in Silicon Valley. Monday was one of those unofficial days of the show - a handful of sessions and an opening keynote but no expo yet - so it was hard to gauge the sort of impact the show will have.

I'm spending most of this week at the Intel Developer's Forum but also wanted to give some time to another show happening in the Bay Area this week: Search Engine Strategies, being held at the San Jose Convention Center in Silicon Valley. Monday was one of those unofficial days of the show - a handful of sessions and an opening keynote but no expo yet - so it was hard to gauge the sort of impact the show will have. But based on a few hours of hanging around and popping in and out of sessions, it's clear that search remains a hot sector with a lot of moving parts.

This week, they'll be talking about mobile search engine optimization, standards for tagging and organizing videos, running search engines on an enterprise Intranet, and alternative search advertising options. That session, in fact, was titled, "Everything but Google" - a common theme around the convention center.

And then there's the whole concept of changing the way people search and find results. Earlier today, I posted an entry about niche search engines - notably one that is targeting African-American Web surfers.

Hakia search
So I was particularly intrigued when I ran into Kartal Guner, co-chief software architect with hakia.com, a search engine that's delivering results based on categorization. Hakia, a startup based in New York, doesn't have a booth in the expo but Guner was in attendance to sit on a panel about semantic search.

Hakia, he said, is focused on trying to understand the query to provide categorized results. The concept is less about storing web pages and more about building a knowledge center online. He walked me through a search of Martin Luther King, which broke down the results in a way that not only offered a number of results but displayed them in a way that I would know exactly what to expect when I clicked on one, based on the category. With Dr. King, the categories included official web sites, headlines, photographs, interviews, awards and speeches, among others.

The rest of the week is filled with other sessions that gravitate across the technology spectrum, from micro-blogging and social media tracking to search marketing and news search.

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