A user types “black clutch” into your search engine. Do they mean the handbag, the automobile part, or something else entirely?
Search is about matching the intent of the user with the information they need. For decades, “relevance” in information retrieval systems has meant things like BM25, TFIDF, field boosting, document boosting, etc. These simple heuristics and strategies have served us well, but ultimately fall short because they fail to semantically model intent. Our systems don’t actually understand what users want, they just hope a few magic numbers will get us close enough.
Query Understanding is about using real intelligence to put users first. In this session, we’ll talk about what Query Understanding is, why it’s important, and some practical strategies for making your search experience smarter.