Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Semantic Image Search Engine

We realize we could make image search experience better by understanding users intent and deliver results based on it. Atleast, for high volume queries this could significantly skyrocket user experience. Let me explain how and why.

Image Search results page on Google,Bing and Yahoo for the teen sensation "Justin Bieber" which is one of the most popular query on image search has been more or less static since past few years. I see the same old images of justin bieber. But my experience on web results page for this term is totally different. I see couple of fresh News results at the top, followed by latest justin bieber videos posted on youtube, followed by realtime tweets and then comes static web links at the bottom. First half of the web results page is dynamic and keeps changing the moment fresh content is available on the web. Why not image search? Justin Bieber has been searched over 50 million times in 2010 on image search itself. This number is huge and by 2015 we can expect over 100 million queries for this term given his fame and popularity. So why on earth are users searching for this term again and again? From users feedback, we realize they are looking for fresh image content.

Lets dive directly into how we cater to users intent and help them get the content they are looking for in quickest possible time.

Today, a search for 'justin bieber' on NachoFoto would show the following suggestions next to image results.

Justin Bieber Madame Tussauds
Justin Bieber Miley Cyrus
Justin Bieber Selena Gomez
Justin Bieber NBA All-Star
Justin Bieber Grammy Awards
Justin Bieber Super Bowl
Justin Bieber Ozzy Osbourne
Justin Bieber Never Say
Justin Bieber Golden Globe Awards
Justin Bieber Death Threats
Justin Bieber Chris Brown
Justin Bieber Z100 Jingle Ball
Justin Bieber German TV

Yesterday, the 17 year old social media king's wax figure were unveiled at Madame Tussauds wax museums in New York, Amsterdam and London. As expected, we saw the term 'justin bieber' in google trends hot list for few hours yesterday. This leaves little doubt that in those few hours millions of justin bieber fans were looking for newest wax figure pictures of the singer. If you do a quick search for 'justin bieber' on Google and Bing images, you will not see a single latest wax figure pic. Suprisingly, even a search for 'justin bieber wax figure' or 'Justin Bieber Madame Tussauds' on Google and Bing wouldn't let you find latest pictures.

At NachoFoto, we are trying to address this problem by showing a list of fresh suggestions so that users have a choice and can express that they want just one type of results. 'Justin Bieber Madame Tussauds' is right at the top of suggestions list and it shows latest pictures of the singers wax figure. NachoFoto also makes its users aware of content they are not looking for but might be interested in. If you look at the suggestions list above, you will notice that users have a choice to browse pictures of justin bieber from the recent Grammy Awards or the Golden Globe Awards or with his girlfriend Selena Gomez from the Oscars.

NachoFoto's Semantic technology leverages fresh content on the web to find Suggestions unlike existing search engines that uses users searching pattern. Though using users searching pattern works for many queries, we realize there are many high volume and trending queries for which this approach does not give optimum results.

We have a vision of delivering freshest and most relevant 'Related searches' for as many queries on image search so that users get what they are looking for in just one click. We are just getting started though, so stay tuned.

Some interesting queries you might want to try
tiger woods
rafael nadal
mark zuckerberg
auto show

-By NachoFoto Team

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