Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Future of Internet Search

Today on the Official Google Blog, Marisa Meyer posted an in-depth look at what the future of Internet searches holds. She shares many interesting thoughts.. She asks a lot of important and interesting questions on the direction of search and how searches will be performed in the coming years.

The most interesting ones she touches on are the "location" and "social" values that can be attached to search.

To search for ‘pizza’ or ‘water hole’, location plays a key role. So if Google knows where you are –it will help deliver relevant results.The social aspect is also worth noting. How do we cull the collective information of our friends -- or simply those around us -- to find the information we need.

Here are some of her thoughts:
Search needs to be more mobile -- it should be available and easy to use in cell phones and in cars and on handheld, wearable devices that we don't even have yet…….. You should be able to talk to a search engine in your voice. You should also be able to ask questions verbally or by typing them in as natural language expressions. You shouldn't have to break everything down into keywords.
Further, why should a search be words at all? Why can't I enter my query as a picture of the birds overhead and have the search engine identify what kind of bird it is? Why can't I capture a snippet of audio and have the search engine identify and analyze it (a song or a stream of conversation) and tell me any relevant information about it? Services that do parts of that are available today, but not in an easy-to-use, integrated way.

In the next 10 years, we will see radical advances in modes of search: mobile devices offering us easier search, Internet capabilities deployed in more devices, and different ways of entering and expressing your queries by voice, natural language, picture, or song, just to name a few. It's clear that while keyword-based searching is incredibly powerful, it's also incredibly limiting. These new modes will be one of the most sweeping changes in search.

She continues at length. I highly suggest you read the Official Google Blog and her comments

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