Yext on Tuesday entered a new era in search. The company introduced the next generation of its platform to focus on audio, optimization and natural-language processing based on what it calls Brand Verified Answers.
This focus, based on changes in consumer behavior from keyword searches to questions, ensures the answers someone receives in response to a search query are verified, whether on a website or a search engine.
Yext did this by developing technology that allows companies to build their own knowledge graph, similar to the type of database Bing and Google use to connect related objects and concepts in search, explains Marc Ferrentino, chief strategy officer at Yext.
It’s the company’s version of Google’s and Bing’s knowledge graph, a graph-like database that stores all the information. Companies like Morgan Stanley can build their own and fill it with information to answer questions in site and web searches.
Yext had been known as a directory to authenticate information about brands and companies. “It goes back to the origin of the company,” Ferrentino said. “We believe the business is the ultimate authority when it comes to information about itself.”
The move gives Yext a stronger foothold in search, from voice to text, as well as the foundation to expand as needed in natural-language projects.
Yext’s listings synchronize the graph the brand built with Google’s and Bing’s respective public graphs. Since the majority of information about the company comes from its own data, the search engines recognize the information as being the authority.
Ferrentino said most brands are not prepared to answer questions. He suggests three steps: build the company’s knowledge graph from which search technology can pull the information to give direct answers.
“We can now market to consumers based on what they ask for,” he said. “What’s nice is I don’t need to know all types of personal information about them.”