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Google Acquires Applied Semantics

9:06 pm on Apr 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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From the press release:

"...today announced that it acquired Applied Semantics, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based producer of software applications for the online advertising, domain name and enterprise information management markets. Applied
Semantics' products and engineering team will strengthen Google's search and advertising programs, including its fast-growing content-targeted advertising offering."

4:25 pm on Apr 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone else think the term Applied Semantics is a really silly name. What does it mean. It seems to mean that they are liers that twist the truth.

"Semantics" deals with the meaning of a term or phrase. Checking a phrase's syntax, that is, its structure, is relatively simple. But determining what that phrase means is quite a challenge in any human language. Hard enough in some computer languages!

If Applied Semantics has made progress in understanding what the text on a page means, that is significant to several fields.

1:30 am on Apr 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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If I'm understanding the points made here by AndrewG and others, is it possible that a new "semantic interface" could replace keywords in the targeted PPC marketplace? For instance, instead of my spending hours figuring out all the combinations of "blue widget," "buy a widget," "buying widgets," "buying blue widgets," etc. ad infinitum, I simply buy a block of targeted clicks. The semantics-powered ad network then does the work of figuring out what my site is about and what it has to offer. And it then matches that offering with searchers... with searchers who are looking for my widgets, whether they search on a typical widget phrase or not.

Is that one of the implications of this move? 'Cause if it is, bring it on. Sometimes it's a fun challenge to ferret out keywords that will create a spark between my potential customers and my site, but usually it's just a pain and I always know I've missed some really good ones.

Forget improved keyword research tools and just cut to the chase, Google: take care of the whole interface between the user's desire and my site's offerings. I'll gladly spend my time improving those offerings instead of permutating keyword combinations!

8:35 am on Apr 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>Well, I thought that was what Google's core competence was, understanding what a web page is about?

That's about the last thing Google's core competence is...

Google cares about *words* not meanings.

I hope they're going to use this technology not only for the ads department but for search refinement as well. *That* would improve user experience! :)

4:26 pm on Apr 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Sound slike Google knows what it wants. Obviously there is nod enying that!

Then again as one member pointed out in the previous page in his post that, google seems to be a bit obsessed with the revenue generation, atleast for the moment...and thats why they have bought the already available technology ( AS ). This isn't a blame...b'cos i feel that since VC's who have invested in google must be looking at reaping benefits by now and given that Google will take more time to go public....this present obsession sounds reasonable.That way Google can get comfortable and take the firm public at a right time.


4:25 am on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

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It also prevents Overture from acquiring the Applied Semantics technology to enhance FAST and AV.
9:12 am on Apr 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Was trying to make sense of all the earlier threads by Andrew and Danny. I know this forum is for webmasters and hence taking the discussion away from that field may not be very relevant but I think Google's acquisition needs to be looked from a larger linguistics technology perspective.

I have been working in the field for some time now and have seen how interestingly many of the automated and intelligent information processing technologies are converging to recognize and unlock pattern that are embedded in the context-laden text data.

This event in a way is as interesting as SPSS's acquisition of Lexiquest. That acquisition represented an acknowledgement from a BI vendor that text and language are important to information processing and only an integrated approach to information can provide a 360 degree view of an organization.

Similarly search engines have realized that just keywords are not enough and they will have to move onto the next steps: ideas, concepts and contextual understanding.

Given this background AS acquisition fits the bill!

4:48 pm on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>>Google's acquisition needs to be looked from a larger linguistics technology perspective.

I've always thought there was a good SEO use for the likes of Wordnet [cogsci.princeton.edu] :)

Not only for advertisements but as mentioned, for "theming". Though wordnet was made by hand, I would assume Google would need something similar to maintain the integrity of any "theming" that they can do. Language is just too irregular to automatically crunch with no seed data, i.e. a dictionary/thesaurus.

>>>including its fast-growing content-targeted advertising offering

So it's maybe more destined towards the adwords side of things, but nonetheless, Google's direction towards "theming" seems quite clear to me IMO :)

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