A few days ago, the news emerged that Chinese search engine Sogou (搜狗) is aiming to raise up to $585 million in a U.S. Initial Public Offering. Sogou, which is owned by internet company Sohu, Inc., announced the terms for its proposed IPO on Friday. The news has caused a stir among those keeping an eye on the Chinese tech space, as Sogou is backed by Chinese tech giant Tencent, the company behind the hugely popular messaging apps WeChat and QQ. But for those of us who might not be up on the state of search in China, what do you need to know about Sogou, and how does its IPO play into the wider search landscape? And could there be any potential knock-on effects for the rest of the industry?
Powerset, Inc., based in San Francisco, is on the verge of offering an innovative natural-language search engine, based on linguistic research at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). The engine does more than merely accept queries asked in the form of a question. The company claims that the engine finds the best answer by considering the meaning and context of the question and related Web pages. "Powerset extracts deep concepts and relationships from the texts, and the users query and match them efficiently to deliver a better search," Powerset CEO Barney Pell says. Even though attempts have been made at natural-language search for decades, Powerset says that its system is different because it has solved some of the fundamental technological problems that have existed with this kind of search.
SEO stands for "search engine optimization" while SEM stands for "search engine marketing." Most times, these two phrases are used interchangeably due to their similarities. However, SEO and SEM are two different strategies. SEO refers to techniques that are used to increase traffic to a website from organic search results of major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Organic traffic is the traffic that you receive for free from search engines.