Hakia, the semantic search engine, has launched a few new features. A bit of info about Hakia if you missed the launch etc...
It works by retrieving information by matching concepts and meanings. They have their own algorithm for ranking called "SemanticRank". It can categorise results, it uses parallelism (Treat = cure), it makes suggestions and allows for user refinement.
Their moto I believe should be "quality over popularity". Google likes popularity, so this is a different take on things.
QDEX is the system by which they analyse and store web pages. It's different from the standard inverted index, because it allows for semantically rich data to be processed quickly. It analyses the content of a web page, extracts all possible queries that could be related to it, then the queries allow the system to fine documents, paragraphs and such things for retrieval. It's all done off-line. This works well because it can decompose content.
SemanticRank is based on sentence analysis and and concept match between the query and the best sentence available in each paragraph. They say they also use syntactic and morphologocal analysis. There's no keyword matching of course because it;s all semantics and no boolean matching.
Anyway, today they launched some new features. They've added the "credible sites" tab, where you can look at results from authorities, such as edu, gov and such sites, and they're asking librarians to suggest sites and "information professionals" (I'm not sure who that covers). The resources must be current, peer reviewed, non-commercial and authentic (or at least fulfill most of these requirements).
For now you can only use it for the topics of the environment, health and medicine. The sites are by experts, although anyone can submit a resource.
There's also a few other tabs: "news", "images" and "meet others". The "meet others" tab is interesting because they're adding social networking to search. There are different rooms where you can post a comment or upload something for other to see, on the topic of the room of course, and then you can discuss it. You can rate the messages. It seems to be used but I'm not sure how much people will get involved, seeing as they usually go to a search engine with a particular information need. It might do though.
Hakia also offer a personalisation service. You get a myHakia account, and then you can get information and news from topics that you specify.
The results aren't quite as good as Google's just yet as far as my very brief tests show. It does have some interesting and possibly quite useful features as well though. The interface is nice and clean and easy to use.
Take a look and see for yourself, you might like it.