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Google is the world’s premier search engine with more than 60,000 searches made every second, which equates to between five and six billion searches on any given day. As a result, the company is highly profitable earning around $100 billion in advertising revenue each year.

Research an organization located in the Kingdom Saudi Arabia and discuss the following:

  

· What type of search engine technology is the company using?

· Discuss the benefits the company is gaining from using that technology.

· What sort of metrics does the company use to measure the success of the utilized search engine technology?

· What other metrics might the company consider using to measure the success of the utilized search engine technology? Why?

Your well-written report should be 4-5 pages in length, not including the title and reference pages. To make it easier to read and therefore grade, make sure you clearly delineate each section of your answer so it can be matched with the relevant question. Use Saudi Electronic University academic writing standards and APA style guidelines, citing at least two references as appropriate. Review the grading rubric to see how you will be graded for this assignment.

Leveraging Search Technologies (105 points)

Google is the world’s premier search engine with more than 60,000 searches made every second, which equates to between five and six billion searches on any given day. As a result, the company is highly profitable earning around $100 billion in advertising revenue each year.

Research an organization located in the Kingdom Saudi Arabia and discuss the following:

· What type of search engine technology is the company using?

· Discuss the benefits the company is gaining from using that technology.

· What sort of metrics does the company use to measure the success of the utilized search engine technology?

· What other metrics might the company consider using to measure the success of the utilized search engine technology? Why?

Your well-written report should be 4-5 pages in length, not including the title and reference pages. To make it easier to read and therefore grade, make sure you clearly delineate each section of your answer so it can be matched with the relevant question. Use Saudi Electronic University academic writing standards and APA style guidelines, citing at least two references as appropriate. Review the grading rubric to see how you will be graded for this assignment.



IT for Management: On-Demand Strategies for Performance, Growth, and Sustainability

Eleventh Edition

Turban, Pollard, Wood

Chapter 6

Search, Semantic, and Recommendation Technology

Learning Objectives (1 of 5)

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Using Search Technology for Business Success

How Search Engines Work

Search Engine: an application for locating webpages or other content on a computer network using spiders.

Spiders: web bots (or bots); small computer programs designed to perform automated, repetitive tasks over the Internet.

Bots scan webpages and return information to be stored in a page repository.

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Using Search Technology for Business Success: Web Directories

Typically organized by categories.

Webpage content is usually reviewed by directory editors prior to listing.

Page Repository: data structure that stores and manages information from a large number of webpages, providing a fast and efficient means for accessing and analyzing the information at a later time.

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Figure 6.1: Components of crawler search engines (Grehan, 2002).

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Figure 6.2: Search engines use invested indexes to efficiently locate Web content based on search query terms

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Enterprise Search

Why Search is Important for Business

Enterprise search tools allow organizations to share information internally

Structured data: information with a high degree of organization, such that inclusion in a relational database is seamless and readily searchable by simple, straightforward search engine algorithms or other search operations.

Unstructured data: “messy data” not organized in a systematic or predefined way.

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Enterprise Search Security

Security Issues

Limited access to certain data via job function or clearance.

Request log audits should be conducted regularly for patterns or inconsistencies.

Enterprise Vendors

Used to treat data in large companies like Internet data but include information management tools.

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Enterprise Search Marketing

Recommendation Engines

Attempt to anticipate information users might be interested in to recommend new products, articles, videos, etc.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

A collection of online marketing strategies and tactics that promote brands by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) through optimization and advertising.

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Search Engine Marketing Techniques

Basic search types:

Informational search

Navigational search

Transactional search

Strategies and tactics produce:

Organic search listings

Paid search listings

Pay-per-click(PPC)

(produce click-through rates)

Social media optimization

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Mobile and Social Search

Mobile Search

Technically configured mobile sites

Content designed for mobile devices

Social Search

Facebook new AI-based search features, including image search based on content and not tags

Intelligent Personal Assistant (IPA) and Voice Search

Alexa

Siri

Business looking into uses

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Web Search for Business

Business search with Google and Bing

Focused search in different formats

Filetype:[file extension]

Advanced search: narrowing down parameters

Search tools button: locations or time frames

Search history: queries and pages visited

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Business Trends

Real-time Search

Google Trends

Google Alerts

Twitter Search

Social Bookmarking Search

Page links tagged with keywords

Specialty Search: Vertical Search

Programmed to focus on webpages related to a particular topic and to drill down by crawling pages that other search engines are likely to ignore.

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Using Search Technology for Business Success

What is the primary difference between a web directory and a crawler based search engine?

What is the purpose of an index in a search engine?

Why are companies increasingly interested in enterprise search tools capable of handling unstructured data?

What is the difference between search engine optimization and PPC advertising?

Describe three different real-time search tools.

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Suggested Answers:

1. Crawler search engines rely on sophisticated computer programs called “spiders,” “crawlers,” or “bots” that surf the Internet, locating webpages, links, and other content that are then stored in the SE’s page repository.

 

Web directories are categorized listings of webpages created and maintained by humans. Because websites are only included after being reviewed by a person, it is less likely that search results will contain irrelevant websites.

 

2. An index helps search engines efficiently locate relevant pages containing keywords used in a search.

 

3. . Unstructured data, sometimes called messy data, refers to information that is not organized in a systematic or predefined way. Unstructured data accounts for about a majority of all the data present on computers today, which explains why companies are interested in tools that claim to handle it. Originally, enterprise search tools worked only with structured data. Many newer systems claim to work with unstructured information as well, although there is great variability in terms of how well they actually do this.

 

4. Businesses utilize search engine optimization (SEO) to improve their website’s organic listings on SERPs. No payments are made to the search engine service for organic search listings.

 

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising refers to paid search listings where advertisers pay search engines based on how many people click on the ads.

5. Google Trends—Trends (google.com/trends) will help you identify current and historical interest in the topic by reporting the volume of search activity over time. Google Trends allows you to view the information for different time periods and geographic regions.

Google Alerts—Alerts (google.com/alerts) is an automated search tool for monitoring new Web content, news stories, videos, and blog posts about some topic. Users set up alerts by specifying a search term (e.g., a company name, product, or topic), how often they want to receive notices, and an e-mail address where the alerts are to be sent. When Google finds content that match the parameters of the search, users are notified via e-mail. Bing has a similar feature called News Alerts.

 

Twitter Search—You can leverage the crowd of over 650 million Twitter users to find information as well as gauge sentiment on a wide range of topics and issues in real time. Twitter’s search tool (twitter.com/search-home) looks similar to other search engines, and includes an advanced search mode.

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Learning Objectives (2 of 5)

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Search Engine Optimization: Google’s Search Factors (1 of 2)

On-Page (directly controlled by webpage creator)

Content

Quality, relevance, up-to-date

Functionality and Programming

Responsiveness, load time, secure connection, metadata, click-through-rate (CTR), keyword connection

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Search Engine Optimization: Google’s Search Factors (2 of 2)

Off-Page (influenced but not directly controlled by SEO professionals)

Relevance and Credibility

Backlinks to target site

Click-through-rate (CTR)

Dwell time (how longer user stays on page)

Personalized Search

Location-based

Past history

Social experience

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Content and Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing

An approach to marketing that emphasizes SEO, content Marketing, and social media strategies.

Outbound marketing

Traditional approach using mass media advertising.

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Organic Search and Search Engine Optimization

Black Hat SEO

Gaming the system or tricking search engines into ranking a site higher than its content deserves.

Link spamming: generating backlinks toward SEO, not adding user value.

Keyword tricks: embedded high-value keywords to drive up traffic statistics.

Ghost text: text hidden in the background that will affect page ranking

Shadow (ghost or cloaked) pages: created pages optimized to attract lots of people through redirect

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Organic Search and Search Engine Optimization Review

Search engines use many different “clues” about the quality of a website’s content to determine how a page should be ranked in search results. Explain how a search engine uses specific factors to determine the quality of a website’s content.

Backlinks are an important ranking factor in SEO. Explain what a backlink is and why search engines use it to determine how websites are listed in SERPs.

Explain why so-called black hat SEO tactics are ultimately short-sighted and can lead to significant consequences for businesses that use them.

What is the fundamental difference between on-page and off-page SEO factors?

Explain why providing high quality, regularly updated content is the most important aspect of any SEO strategy.

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Suggested Answers:

1. One way of assessing the quality of a website is to use measures of popularity. This is based on the assumption that websites with good content will be more popular than sites with poor quality content. On the assumption that people are more likely to link to high-quality websites than poor-quality sites, one measure of popularity is the number of backlinks—external links that point back to a site.

 

Search engines attempt to determine if the content on a webpage is relevant to what the searcher is looking for. As with quality, the search engine cannot determine relevance directly, so algorithms have been developed to look for clues that suggest a site might be relevant. Factors which affect relevancy:

Keywords related to the search topic suggest relevant content.

Page titles: Words in the page title that are related to the topic suggest relevant content.

Relevant phrases in text: In addition to keywords, search engines look at the words and phrases on the page to determine relevance.

Amount of text on page that appears relevant: The proportion of relevant text to non-relevant text can influence relevance.

Backlinks from relevant sites and Web directories: Webpages that are listed in relevant categories of Web directories are more likely to be relevant because they were reviewed by human editors.

SERP click through rate (CTR): Searchers are more likely to click on listings that contain relevant content.

Onpage factor: Metadata (such as page titles, page descriptions) and descriptive URLs should reflect the page content. People use the information in search listings to determine if a link contains relevant information. This affects CTR.

Dwell time and bounce rate are impacted by how relevant a website’s content is. Long dwell times and short bounce rates suggest relevant content related to the search.

Search engines want their customers to be satisfied. As a result, SERP ranking is influenced by factors that impact user satisfaction. Factors that are likely to influence a search engine’s user satisfaction rating are:

Dwell time: Users that stay on a site longer are probably more satisfied.

Site speed: Slow page loading time on websites reduces satisfaction.

Reading level: Reading levels that are too high or too low frustrate users.

Hacked sites, malware, spam reduce user satisfaction significantly.

Website satisfaction surveys: Google created user satisfaction surveys that webmasters can embed in their websites. Positive responses to these surveys can improve ranking.

Barriers to content: Making people register, provide names, or fill out forms to get to content has a negative impact on user satisfaction.

Other factors: Too many ads, page-not-found errors, duplicate content/pages, content copied from other websites, and spam in comment sections all detract from user satisfaction.

 

2. A backlink is an external link that points back to a site. The use of backlinks is based on the assumption that people are more likely to link to high-quality websites than poor-quality sites. Since the number of backlinks is believed to be a heavily weighted factor, SEO professionals have developed several creative strategies for increasing legitimate backlinks to their websites while avoiding certain tactics that Google disapproves of. Google downgrades websites that use methods that artificially inflate their backlink count.

 

3. Black hat tactics try to trick the search engine into thinking a website has high-quality content, when in fact it does not. The search engines have stronger detection systems in place and when they are discovered, Google and other SEs will usually punish the business by dramatically lowering the website’s rank so that it does not show up on SERPs at all.

 

4. On-page SEO factors are elements that can be controlled by the web designer. Off-page factors can be influenced but not directly controlled by SEO professionals.

5. Perhaps the most important action an organization can take to improve its website’s ranking and satisfy website visitors is provide helpful content that is current and updated regularly. When SEO practices are combined with valuable content, websites become easier to find in search engines but, more importantly, contribute to building brand awareness, positive attitudes toward the brand, and brand loyalty.

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Learning Objectives (3 of 5)

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Pay-Per-Click Strategies

PPC advertising campaigns:

Set an overall budget

Create ads

Select associated keywords

Set up billing account information

Modify key words and ad copy based on results

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Quality Score Factors

Determined by factors related to the user’s experience.

Expected keyword click-through-rate (CTR)

The past CTR of your URL (web address)

Past effectiveness

Landing page quality

Relevance of keywords to ads

Relevance of keywords to customer search

Geographic performance in targeted regions

Ad performance on difference devices

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Pay-Per-Click Advertising Metrics

Click through rates (CTR): used to evaluate keyword selection and ad copy campaign decisions.

Keyword conversion: should lead to sales, not just visits.

Cost of customer acquisition (CoCA): amount of money spent to attract a paying customer.

Return on advertising spend (ROAS): overall financial effectiveness.

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Pay-Per-Click and Paid Search Strategies Review

What would most people say is the fundamental difference between organic listings and PPC listings on a search engine?

What are the five primary steps to creating a PPC advertising campaign on search engines?

In addition to the “bid price” for a particular keyword, what other factor(s) influence the likelihood that an advertisement will appear on a search results page? Why don’t search engines just rely on the advertisers bid when deciding what ads will appear on the search results page?

How do on-page factors influence the effectiveness of PPC advertisements?

What factors determine an ad’s quality score?

Describe four metrics that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of a PPC advertising campaign.

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Suggested Answers:

1. Paid advertisements receive preferential page placement, but most major search engines differentiate organic search results from paid ad listings on SERPs with labels, shading, and placing the ads in a different place on the page.

 

2. There are five steps to creating a PPC advertising campaign on search engines:

1. Set an overall budget for the campaign.

2. Create ads—most search engine ads are text only.

3. Select keywords associated with the campaign.

4. Set up billing account information.

5. Modify key words and copy based on results.

 

3. In addition to selecting keywords and setting bid prices, advertisers also set parameters for the geographic location they want their ad to appear in and time of day. These factors allow for additional customer targeting designed to help advertisers reach the consumers most likely to purchase their products.

 

A quality score is determined by factors related to the user’s experience. Ads that are considered to be more relevant (and therefore more likely to be clicked on) will cost less and more likely run in a top position.

 

Relevant ads are good for all parties—the search engine makes more money from clicked ads, the advertiser experiences more customers visiting its site, and the customer is more likely to find what he or she is looking for.

 

4. The effectiveness of PPC ads is heavily influenced by factors on the webpages that ads are linked to. For instance, sometimes companies create product-oriented ads, but then link to the main page of their website instead of a page with information about the product in the ad. Other factors include landing page design, effectiveness of the call to action, and the quality of the shopping cart application. A PPC campaign will not be very effective if the website is not attractive to consumers once they reach it.

 

5. Quality scores are determined by factors related to ad relevance and user experience factors. According to Google, quality scores are determined by several factors:

 Expected keyword CTR

 The past CTR of your URL

 Past effectiveness (overall CTR of ads and keywords in the account)

 Landing page quality (relevance, transparency, ease of navigation, etc.)

 Relevance of keywords to ads

 Relevance of keywords to customer search query

 Geographic performanceaccount success in geographic regions being targeted.

 How well ads perform on different devices (quality scores are calculated for mobile, desktop/laptop, and tablets).

6. Click through rates (CTRs)—By themselves, CTRs do not measure the financial performance of an ad campaign. But they are useful for evaluating many of the decisions that go into a campaign, such as keyword selection and ad copy.

 

Keyword conversion—High CTRs are not always good if they do not lead to sales. Since the cost of the campaign is based on how many people click an ad, you want to select keywords that lead to sales (conversions), not just site visits. PPC advertisers monitor which keywords lead to sales and focus on those in future campaigns.

 

Cost of customer acquisition (CoCA)—This metric represents the amount of money spent to attract a paying customer. To calculate CoCA for a PPC campaign, you divide the total budget of the campaign by the number of customers who purchased something from your site. For instance, if you spent $1,000 on a campaign that yielded 40 customers, your CoCA would be $1,000/40 5 $25 per customer.

 

Return on advertising spend (ROAS)—The campaign’s overall financial effectiveness is evaluated with ROAS (revenue /cost). For example, if $1,000 was spent on a campaign that led to $6,000 in sales, ROAS would be $6,000/$1,000 5 $6. In other words, for every dollar spent on PPC ads, $6 was earned.

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Learning Objectives (4 of 5)

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A Search for Meaning—Semantic Technology

Semantic Web

Meaningful computing using metadata: application of natural language processing (NLP) to support information retrieval, analytics, and data-integration that compass both numerical and “unstructured” information

Semantic Search

Process of typing something into a search engine and getting more results than just those that feature the exact keyword typed into the search box

Metadata

Data that describes and provides information about other data.

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Evolution of the Web

Table 6.2 Evolution of the Web
Web 1.0 (The Initial Web)
A Web of Pages
Pages or documents are “hyperlinked,” making it easier than ever before to access connected information.
Web 2.0 (The Social Web)
A Web of Applications
New applications and technologies allow people to easily create, share, and organize information.
Web 3.0 (The Semantic Web)
A Web of Data
Using metadata tags, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and other semantic tools, computers can be used to access specific information across platforms and applications, regardless of the original structure of the file, page or document. It turns the Web into a giant readable database.

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The Languages of Web 3.0

Resource description framework (RDF)

Used to represent information about resources

Web ontology language (OWL)

Language used to categorize and accurately identify the nature of Internet things

SPARCQL protocol

Used to write programs that can retrieve and manipulate data scored in RDF

RDF query language (SPARCQL)

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Semantic Web and Semantic Search

In addition to metadata tags, semantic search engines use a variety of strategies to find meaning:

natural language processing

contextual cues

synonyms

word variations

concept matching

specialized queries

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Semantic Search Features and Benefits (1 of 2)

Semantic Search Features

Related searches/queries: alternatives provided

Reference results: reference material provided

Semantically annotated results: search terms and related terms are highlighted

Full-text similarity search: a full block of text can be searched

Search on semantic/syntactic annotations:

<organization> center </organization>

Johnson Research Center

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Semantic Search Features and Benefits (2 of 2)

Semantic Search Features

Concept search: returns results related to concept

Ontology-based search: uses relationships between data “What vegetables are green?”

Semantic Web search: uses tagged data

Faceted search: filtering based on predefined facets

Clustered search: similar to facet search but without predefined facets

Natural language search: extracts keywords from full question

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Semantic Web For Business

Semantic Web offers opportunities and challenges for businesses

Must optimize websites for semantic search

Metadata optimization produces richer and more attractive SERP listings (rich snippets)

Detailed organic search listings produce greater CTRs

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A Search for Meaning—Semantic Technology

List five different practical ways that semantic technology is enhancing the search experience of users.

How do metadata tags facilitate more accurate search results?

Briefly describe the three evolutionary stages of the Internet?

Define the words “context,” “personalization,” and “vertical search” and explain how they make for more powerful and accurate search results.

What are the three languages developed by the W3C and associated with the semantic Web?

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Suggested Answers:

1. Grimes (2010) provides a list of practical benefits that could result from semantic search technology:

Related searches/queries. The engine suggests alternative search queries that may produce information related to the original query. Search engines may also ask you, “Did you mean: [search term]?” if it detects a misspelling. (This already happens with some.)

Reference results. The search engine suggests reference material related to the query, such as a dictionary definition, Wikipedia pages, maps, reviews, or stock quotes.

Semantically annotated results. Returned pages contain highlighting of search terms, but also related words or phrases that may not have appeared in the original query. These can be used in future searches simply by clicking on them.

Full-text similarity search. Users can submit a block of text or even a full document to find similar content.

Search on semantic/syntactic annotations. This approach would allow a user to indicate the “syntactic role the term plays—for instance, the part-of-speech (noun, verb, etc.)—or its semantic meaning—whether it’s a company name, location, or event.” For instance, a keyword search on the word “center” would produce too many results. Instead, a search query could be written using a syntax such as the following:

<organization> center </organization>

This would only return documents where the word “center” was part of an organization’s name. Google currently allows you to do something similar to specify the kind of files you are looking for (e.g., filetype:pdf)

Concept search. Search engines could return results with related concepts. For instance, if the original query was “Tarantino films,” documents would be returned that contain the word “movies” even if not the word “films.”

Ontology-based search. Ontologies define the relationships between data. An ontology is based on the concept of “triples”: subject, predicate, and object. This would allow the search engine to answer questions such as “What vegetables are green?” The search engine would return results about “broccoli,” “spinach,” “peas,” “asparagus,” “Brussels sprouts,” and so on.

Semantic Web search. This approach would take advantage of content tagged with metadata as previously described in this section. Search results are likely to be more accurate than keyword matching.

Faceted search. Faceted search provides a means of refining results based on predefined categories called facets. For instance, a search on “colleges” might result in options to “refine this search by. . .” location, size, degrees offered, private or public, and so on. Faceted search tools available today tend to focus on a specific domain, such as Wikipedia or Semidico, a search tool for biomedical literature.

Clustered search. This is similar to a faceted search, but without the predefined categories. Visit Carrot2.org to better understand this concept. After conducting a search, click on the “foamtree” option to see how you can refine your search. The refining options are extracted from the content in pages of the initial search.

Natural language search. Natural language search tools attempt to extract words from questions such as “How many countries are there in Europe?” and create a semantic representation of the query. Initially, this is what people hoped search engines would evolve toward, but Grimes wonders if we have become so accustomed to typing just one or two words into our queries that writing out a whole question may seem like too much work.

 

2. Much of the world’s digital information is stored in files structured so that they can only be read by the programs that created them. With metadata, the content of these files can be labeled with tags describing the nature of the information, where it came from, or how it is arranged, essentially making the Web one large database that can be read and used by a wide variety of applications.

 

The semantic Web will make it possible to access information about real things (people, places, contracts, books, chemicals, etc.) without worrying about the details associated with the nature or structure of the data files, pages, and databases where these things are described or contained (Hendler and Berners-Lee, 2010).

 

3. The first stage was Web 1.0 (The Initial Web) – A Web of Pages. Pages or documents are “hyperlinked,” making it easier than ever before to access connected information.

The first stage was Web 2.0 (The Social Web) – A Web of Applications. Applications are created that allow people to easily create, share, and organize information.

 

The third stage is Web 3.0 (The Semantic Web) – A Web of Data. Information within documents or pages is tagged with metadata, allowing users to access specific information across platforms, regardless of the original structure of the fi le, page, or document that contains it. It turns the Web into one giant database.

 

4. Context defines the intent of the user; for example, trying to purchase music, to find a job, to share memories with friends and family

 

Personalization refers to the user’s personal characteristics that impact how relevant the content, commerce, and community are to an individual.

 

Vertical search, as you have read, focuses on finding information in a particular content area, such as travel, finance, legal, and medical.

 

The current Web is disjointed, requiring us to visit different websites to get content, engage in commerce, and interact with our social networks (community). The future Web will use …

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