Today as of March 24, 2009 Google announced it rolls out two new improvements to the search results pages: More and better search refinements, and Longer snippets.
Google says: "Starting today, we're deploying a new technology that can better understand associations and concepts related to your search, and one of its first applications lets us offer you even more useful related searches" For example, if you search for [principles of physics], our algorithms understand that "angular momentum," "special relativity," "big bang" and "quantum mechanic" are related terms that could help you find what you need.
"When you do a search on Google, each result we give you starts with a dark blue title and is followed by a few lines of text (what we call a "snippet"), which together give you an idea of what each page is about.
When you enter a longer query, with more than three words, regular-length snippets may not give you enough information and context. In these situations, we now increase the number of lines in the snippet to provide more information and show more of the words you typed in the context of the page."
The new technology Google injected into its search engine is called semantic technology (what is it?). Google realized the limitation of keywords search and people do ask concept-based questions from time to time; Google should not only anaylize where the search quries apprear on th epages, but understand the meaning of questions. "Wouldn't it be nice if Google understood the meaning of your phrase, rather than just the words that are in the phrase? We have [done] a lot of discoveries in that area that are going to roll out" Google CEO Eric Schmidt said so in Jan. Now it makes progress with this direction.