Tim posts on fellow editor Sarah Milstein’s observations. Sarah wrote (and updates) Google: The Missing Manual. From her thoughts:
As the Web gets bigger, search results contain more irrelevant stuff. In many cases, it’s getting harder to find what you want. Appreciably harder.
What do you all think? Yes or no?
Other search companies are doing some cool stuff with their main results. For many searches, Microsoft Live presents a super-useful list of related searches; also, somebody hit them with the clean-interface stick. Ask.com does a nice job with simple natural-language questions. Clusty has been offering very handy clustered search results since at least 2004. Daylife (still in alpha) does what is essentially clustering with a thoughtful interface.
My thoughts: It’s about a year away, but in one year, there will be precious little difference between results on Google, MSFT, and Yahoo. But will it matter? Yes or no…
I wonder when/if search is going to be real-time (i.e. live Web) rather than index-based. And I wonder if the main barrier to it now is hardware or software (to the degree you can separate them). At Web2, I met a woman from Intel R&D who’s working on a continuous refresh data system that would allow real-time searching but for which you need multi-core processors that aren’t yet ready for primetime. Still, an interesting glimpse of the possible future.
This is exciting, but what I want is even more is a web time axis….
During the two-year period from one edition of Google TMM to the next, Google began adding features and services at such an increasingly quick clip that while the second edition was at the printer, we missed out on eight new tools. That was in a 10-day period. (Some of those new tools are search-related; many are not.)
Tell me about it. I missed about 100 from the hardback to the paperback, and now I’m hopelessly behind. No, wait…that’s why we have Searchblog….