Concluding paragraphs of an article about Google’s impending semantic shift; also see WSJ Says Big Google Search Changes Coming? Reality Check Time! (Search Engine Land)
But the newest change is expected to go much further, coming as a result of Google's acquisition in 2010 start-up Metaweb Technologies, which had an index of 12 million entities, such as movies, books, companies and celebrities. By comparison, online encyclopedia Wikipedia has 3.5 million English entries, though they include more detailed information.
Mr. Singhal said Google and the Metaweb team, which then numbered around 50 software engineers, have since expanded the size of the index to more than 200 million entities, partly by developing "extraction algorithms," or mathematical formulas that can organize data scattered across the Web. It also approached organizations and government agencies to obtain access to databases, including the CIA World Factbook, which houses up-to-date encyclopedic information about countries worldwide.