Another engine comparison? It’s all just semantics…

Powerset is a new semantic search engine I’ve been holding off reviewing for a while.

Given that it currently only searches Wikipedia results, not to mention the fact that (as with most new search engine sources) the primary searchable content is US- rather than UK-oriented, my instincts have so far erred toward the ‘woah nelly’.

As is rightly pointed out elsewhere, not only would it take hundreds of carefully crafted searches to fairly put this new source through its paces (not that my ‘testing’ is ever particularly scientific), but in any case the exercise would be entirely missing the point.

That is because, for various reasons (some of which I’ve covered elsewhere), Powerset represents not so much the future of semantic search, but is more likely the future of ‘Internet searching’ full stop.

I was going to compare the UK version of Ask (a natural language, rather than semantic search engine), which is nonetheless the nearest most popular equivalent to what Powerset might one day provide.

Instead I’ll just suggest that its a good idea for journalists (or anyone) dependent on web search, to have a play with Powerset from time to time, if for no other reason than to get used to how web search is likely to develop.


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