Pinecone Systems releases the next stage of search engine evolution

‘Vector search’ fuses the two dominant search models – keyword and semantic – into one system that will enable companies to offer the highest level search results possible.

 Search Engine Land search marketing blog word visualizations at Online Marketing Blog. (photo credit: TOPRANK MARKETING/FLICKR)
Search Engine Land search marketing blog word visualizations at Online Marketing Blog.
(photo credit: TOPRANK MARKETING/FLICKR)

One of the defining characteristics of the modern era is everyone's ability to search for any information at any time, and usually come up with decent results. That system works so well, in fact, that perhaps few have stopped to wonder how it will likely improve in the coming years.

“Our research shows that keyword-aware semantic search is superior to either semantic search or keyword search separately. This release finally allows businesses to provide their users with the most relevant possible results no matter how specific the query or how unique the topic."

Edo Liberty, founder and CEO of Pinecone and former head of Amazon AI Labs and Yahoo’s Research Lab.

Israeli start-up Pinecone Systems, on the other hand, has stopped to wonder, and has developed search engine infrastructure that it touts as the world’s most accessible and advanced combination of semantic and keyword search results.

English, please

A translation of that inside terminology: Pinecone’s tech is capable of approaching searches for info from two different angles. Semantic search engines provide relevant results based on the meaning of the words used in the search prompt itself, so a search for “cat” might bring results related to “cats,” “felines” or “cool guys from ‘40s jazz bands.” Keyword searches focus on the specific words included in a search prompt, and scour around for results containing those words.

Typically, companies have to choose between semantic search and keyword search, or running both systems in parallel in order to provide optimal results. Pinecone mixes the two ideas in what it has deemed “vector search,” which operates semantically while also honoring uncommon keywords like names or industry-specific terminology.

 Pinecone CEO and founder Edo Liberty near a wooded glen, where only the highest quality search results can be found. (credit: Courtesy) Pinecone CEO and founder Edo Liberty near a wooded glen, where only the highest quality search results can be found. (credit: Courtesy)

“Our research shows that keyword-aware semantic search is superior to either semantic search or keyword search separately," according to Edo Liberty, founder and CEO of Pinecone and former head of Amazon AI Labs and Yahoo’s Research Lab. "This release finally allows businesses to provide their users with the most relevant possible results no matter how specific the query or how unique the topic."

According to Liberty, vector search will enable companies of all sizes and types to provide the same caliber of highly relevant search results that only tech giants capable of investing heavily in data science and engineering work could previously offer.

“Most companies do not have the resources to provide their users with the types of advanced search solutions that tech giants do," Liberty said, "and this release from Pinecone changes all of that."