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What is Federated Search?

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 14 years and 285 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

I’m sitting in the ASIDIC conference, and trying to take this all in. So far it is truly fascinating to me to dive full force into such a new space. One of the terms that is very precious to this industry is “federated search”. It was a bit strange to come accross a search term that I was fairly unfamiliar with (I eat, sleep, and breath search in case you haven’t noticed). The concepts seem very similar to many concepts within the search space – but given a different label. So my question is – to other SEO’s (before I report my newfound perspective): What does “Federated Search” mean to you?

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  • Barry Schwartz

    Even if you didn’t know what it meant, any SEO would:

    And find

  • Danny Sullivan

    In the information research field, this has typically meant the ability to do a search across several databases at the same time. In the web world, it’s meta search — searching against several search engines.

  • Stuntdubl SEO

    That’s exactly what I did too Barry.

    My first impression was definitely “meta search with a new name”. It’s very interesting to try take take in the semantic nuances of this industries definition of federated search/meta search, as it’s thrown around with the same regard and used with nearly the same prevalence as “search engine optimization” is within our field.

    It’s many different things to many different people here it seems as it applies to the various different (very new to me) business models within the premium content publisher space.

  • Ethan Giffin

    What it means to me is two seperate databases and systems… One with 3.6 million records, the other with 8 million. Many of the records are in both systems with no unique identifier between them. Figuring out how to return consistently relevant results on one screen is my million dollar question ;)

  • Darren

    A little clarification from my understanding. MS will use the term “federator” also to mean one of those partners in a federated search. They are currently using many different federators in their search conquest. if it helps to visualize at all, expedia is a federator, is a federator, I think even their spell-check is, and same with weather & all the other verticals they provide special listings for.

    Most of their federators are internal, but they do use external ones – as do other engines – but the technical requirements regarding latency are pretty incredible.