As the Web giant rolls out its “next generation of search” to provide users with more relevant query results, early indications show that search activity is rising.

by Dara Kerr

It’s been two weeks since Google embarked on its biggest overhaul since its inception and…so far so good.

The Internet giant said it has had a clear increase in search activity over the past couple of weeks, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“Early indications are that people are interacting with it more, learning about more things…and doing more [search] queries,” top Google search executive Amit Singhal told the Journal in an interview. “It’s stoking people’s curiosity.”

Google spokesman Jason Freidenfelds also told the Journal that more people are doing more searches since the site began rolling out its new search function. However, Freidenfelds did not give specific numbers.

The goal of the revamp, which was first reported in March, is to provide users with more relevant results in their searches. This process will work by using technology called “semantic search.” The idea is that people’s searches will be better matched with “entities”–or people, places and things–which the company has been building the past two years.

 Over the last couple of weeks, users may have noticed that when they searched for a person, place, or thing in Google, a box of information on that query popped up on the right hand side of the page. For example, a search on the Golden Gate Bridge shows a Google map with directions and facts from Wikipedia, such as date of construction, length of the bridge, and the architects who designed it. Photos are also available.

“For the first time, the search engine understands real-world things,” Singhal told the Journal. He also said the overhaul was a “baby step” toward building the “search system of tomorrow.”

As of now, changes have been made only to the English-language version of Google search. More changes are expected to roll out over the next few months but the full makeover to “next generation of search” will likely take years. A Google spokesperson told CNET in March that there is not a specific timeline to the revamp and the company’s philosophy is to launch things when they’re ready.



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