How do you beat Google at its own game? Search engine upstart Powerset is betting on the wisdom of the crowds. As the latest step in one of the longer buildups to a product launch in Internet history, Powerset on Sept. 17 is taking the wraps off a new online community site called Powerset Labs. The company hopes the site will marshal thousands of people to help build and improve its search engine before it goes public next year.

Ultimately, the 70-person San Francisco company aims to one-up Google by producing search results that are even more on the mark - and potentially, more valuable to advertisers. Google's search engine matches words within search queries with text in Web pages. It also tallies links between Web pages to highlight the ones that get linked to the most from other Web pages.

In contrast, Powerset's system will analyze the actual meaning of words and phrases that it indexes on the Web. It then will analyze the linguistic meaning of the query and find the best matches between the two - theoretically, at least, producing more meaningful results.

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Related Link: Powerset Labs