The music industry has been keenly following Google’s strategy regarding its main search engine for some time, with rightsholders increasingly keen to see the company take more action to knock out pirate sites and promote legal music services. Well, it hasn’t done that, but there are changes afoot at Google. The company is planning to give its search engine an injection of ‘semantic search’ technology, which the Wall Street Journal summarises as “spitting out more than a list of blue Web links”. Google’s algorithm will be responding more to the actual meaning of words in search queries, rather than just keywords. That could include answering questions directly on the site – the example given is ‘What are the 10 largest lakes in California?’. There will be implications for music, for example searches for artists, but for now Google isn’t saying too much about that side of things.

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