Yext Introduces Extractive QA, Website Crawler, Data Connectors, and Answers Developer Tools, Laying Foundation for Multi-Solution Search Platform

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The features, available for early access in Yext’s Spring ’21 Release, enable businesses to deliver even better and more diverse search experiences to their customers

Yext, Inc., the Answers Search Company, today announced its Spring ’21 Release, one of the most significant platform updates in the company’s history. With the release, highlighted by the “Orion” search algorithm update and a number of critical, innovative features, including extractive QA, a website crawler, data connectors, and developer tools for Answers, the company now allows businesses to deliver even better and more diverse search experiences to their customers.

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“Natural language processing has never been more advanced, making exceptional search experiences possible — yet most businesses still use keyword search technology that hasn’t changed much since the late ’90s,” said Marc Ferrentino, Chief Strategy Officer of Yext. “With our new Spring Release features, we’re making our search platform better, faster, and ultimately cheaper for those looking to transform their businesses with modern, answers-led search.”

The Yext Spring ’21 Release includes the following features, which are available for early access:

  • Document Search powered by Extractive Question Answering (QA): Unlike traditional keyword search, Yext’s platform leverages multiple advanced NLP algorithms to deliver a modern, exceptional search experience drawing from structured and semi-structured data. Its latest addition, extractive QA, adds a powerful dimension to the platform by answering complex questions against unstructured, long-form documents. When someone asks a specific question, whether it’s the difference between a 401(k) and a Roth IRA on a bank’s website or how to assemble a product on a retailer’s site, extractive QA looks at the unstructured data from a business’s webpages, blog posts, help articles, and product manuals in their unique knowledge graph (a brain-like database of facts) to find the most relevant word, sentence, or paragraph, and then delivers a direct answer in the form of a rich snippet at the top of the results page.
  • Data Connectors, Including Website Crawler: It can be a challenge for brands to centralize the data they need to populate their knowledge graphs — whether it’s support articles, product information, professional records, or another source — to answer their customers’ complex questions. Yext’s new data connectors streamline this process by offering a low-code, point-and-click way to add data sources and transform them into structured facts. This includes a website crawler that can scan a business’s website and extract data to be loaded into their knowledge graph.
  • Developer Tools: Developers now have everything they need to interact with the Yext platform and build custom solutions on their own. Users can manage their account configuration without logging into the Yext platform using the new Yext Command Line Interface (CLI), and build a completely custom Answers front end with two new Answers SDKs and a direct Answers API.
  • Authenticated Use Cases: To meet strong demand for search experiences that live behind a firewall, Yext has introduced new security measures that allow businesses to deploy Answers for authenticated, employee-facing use cases, from company intranet search for employees to support search for agents. Yext’s new security page will outline all of the details of the company’s related best practices, certifications, and protocols.

Yext’s Founder and CEO Howard Lerman and Chief Strategy Officer Marc Ferrentino will be joining members of the company’s product and engineering teams in a Clubhouse talk titled “Tech Happy Hour: Join Yext at the [Search] Bar” to discuss the announcement at 9 p.m. (ET) today. Reporters are welcome to join the room as listeners or raise their hand to ask questions.

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