Google Comes Up With Own Structured Data Search

April 29th, 2009 at 12:00 am

Wolfram Alpha And Google Logo

With the news of a new kind of search engine called Wolfram Alpha to go online in May, Google seems to look at it as a possible threat maybe. After all, Wolfram Alpha was earlier touted as the "Google Killer" in several online articles. This may have irked the search engine giant quite a bit. That may also be the reason why Google decided to recently launch some added features into its search engine which many thought may be similar to what Wolfram Alpha will be offering.

The type of search that we are talking about here involves the use of structured public data to provide users with answers instead of just a list of links where possible answers can be found. At least that is what Wolfram Alpha aims to do. It calls itself a type of computational knowledge engine. With its series of complex algorithms, this engine claims to understand what the searcher is looking for, even if posed in human terms. After the inquiry is typed in, the engine computes, evaluates and then provide the results and answers people are looking for, and not just a series of other links that would allow online searchers to choose and find the answers for themselves.

This interesting Wolfram Alpha engine has gone through limited public testing a week ago and is slated to be launched online in May. But interestingly, Google tries to beat them to the punch by launching a similar yet simplified version of what Wolfram Alpha may be able to do.

A recent posting in the Google Blog tells of a recently added feature on the Google search engine that allows people to find and gain access to public data and help them analyze and compare such similar data. Examples of such public data include population density, unemployment rates, CO2 emissions and the like. Search results for such inquiries will include an interactive graph that would allow users to compare and look at similar data coming from different sources such as US states. Public data available for now may just cover mostly those concerning the different US states for the meantime. But people at Google believe that the range of public data available would eventually grow as more and more lists are being added.

What Google may have launched recently may be considered simplified at most. It might not yet be comparable even at the very least to what the Wolfram Alpha is supposed to be capable of. But that is just it, Google tried to come ahead with something similar that Wolfram Alpha has to offer and made it available online quicker. Many consider it as some sort of upstaging Wolfram Alpha’s online launch in May.

While many have already tested Google’s added public data feature online, Wolfram Alpha still has yet to be tested. If just to consider what the chosen Wolfram Alpha testers have to say, it may truly be such a powerful engine that may just be as effective as or even better than the current search engine giant Google. But would it, really? Everyone would know for sure if Wolfram Alpha finally becomes available in May where it falls into the hands of the entire online population to test out, compare and evaluate.