There’s a wealth of data on the Internet — 100 billion — plus gigabytes, actually. “But if you can’t find something on the first page of your Google results, it may as well not exist,” says Dave McComb, who chairs this San Francisco event. Thankfully, the Web is getting smarter. Sites as diverse as whitehouse.gov and bestbuy.com have started coding their data — everything from flight times to photos to government findings — in a standard way, so search engines can contextualize the information they crawl (instead of just matching keywords). Now it’s up to conference presenters Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, which have already embraced basic semantic tech, to make sure the most relevant search results rise to the top. — DAN MACSAI
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