Google has used Searchology to introduce Universal Search and Personalized Search. Among the Google search options, you can also search by genre, including forums and reviews. If you sort by reviews, Google will perform sentiment analysis and highlight interesting comments.

Can computers actually interpret feelings then? Is that what sentiment analysis is? The New York Times, in its article “Mining the Web for Feelings, Not Facts” says, “An emerging field known as sentiment analysis is taking shape around one of the computer world’s unexplored frontiers: translating the vagaries of human emotion into hard data.”

The rise of blogs and social networks has fueled a huge market in personal opinion: reviews, ratings, recommendations and other forms of online expression. This trend is becoming a common practice for a consumer to learn how others like or dislike a product before buying, or for a manufacturer to keep track of customer opinions on its products to improve the user satisfaction. However, as the number of reviews available for any given product grows, it becomes harder and harder for people to understand and evaluate what the prevailing/majority opinion about the product is.

In order to resolve this problem, sentiment analysis classifies opinions in text into categories like “positive” or “negative” often with an implicit category of “neutral”. A classic sentiment application would be tracking what bloggers are saying about a brand like Toyota. sentiment analysis is also called opinion mining or voice of the customer.

For many businesses, online opinion has turned into a kind of virtual currency that can make or break a product in the marketplace. Yet many companies struggle to make sense of the caterwaul of complaints and compliments that now swirl around their products online. However, sentiment analysis tools can not only help businesses improve their bottom lines, but also transform the experience of searching for information online.

Because of the important benefits of this search tool, more small companies for example, are focusing more on adopting local search engine optimization services, which enables them to maximize the benefits of their customer’s feedback and the company’s profitability.

Phil Sanders