Yahoo has acquired Aviate, a company that provides “contextual” app search and organization for mobile phone users, Marissa Mayer announced at CES — the huge tech conference in Las Vegas — today.
“Contextual” search is becoming a huge deal at the major tech brands. Google, Microsoft’s Bing, Apple and Facebook all have contextual or “semantic” search efforts under way.
Basically, contextual search differs from the regular search you know on Google by trying to anticipate what you really mean or want based on cues in your past searches or in other stores of data the search tool has access to. It’s not just about matching keywords and ranking incoming links. Sometimes it is called latent search.