Walmart builds its own shopping search engine

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Walmart (s wmt) is deploying a new internally-built search engine to power Walmart.com and ultimately increase sales conversions from searches. The Polaris search engine, developed by @WalmartLabs over the last 10 months, has been in use for the last few months on Walmart.com and has already boosted conversions to sales by 10-15 percent, the company said.

Polaris grew out of the semantic technology brought over through Walmart’s acquisition last year of Kosmix, including Kosmix’s social genome project, which connects people to places, events and products. While Kosmix founders Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, who led the newly established @WalmartLabs, have moved on, Walmart is making good use of their technology.

Now, when users search on Walmart.com, they don’t just get a page full of results. For certain searches, they will get directed to a topic page that features specials and curated items as well as traditional search results. The searches are…

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