Google has announced significant improvements in the way users search in Arabic on Google search.
Aiming to fix issues where users would miss spaces, or misspell certain words, Google believes its new algorithm changes has already seen search results improve by 10%. The algorithm employs rules of Arabic spelling and grammar along with signals from historical search data.
The main complexities arise from the fact that Arabic letters are cursive, so the shapes change based on the position of the letter in the word.
Google also explains that some queries make it difficult for Google to recognise that the same search results should be shown.
“For example, the queries [وزارةالتعليم] and [وزارة التعليم] have an identical meaning (Ministry of Education) and they’re both written in a common form for Arabic documents. But they have different, albeit correct, formats — the first query is written as a single word, while the second is written as two.” Moustafa Hammad and Mohamed Elhawary, Software Engineers on Search Quality Team say.
Google is the Middle East’s most popular search engine, with approximately 24.56 % of the market, Maktoob.Com (Yahoo owned) is second at 8.77 %.