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The Future of Search Series

By - May 08, 2008

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Danny and I have contracted with Thomson Reuters, a sponsor of Searchblog, to write a series of posts on the future of search. They’ve given us no guidance, just asked us to ponder the topic. This is my first post, “A search is not just a search,” longtime readers will find it familiar, if updated. From it:

In the past few years, a significant new feature has crept into the results portion of this otherwise predictable interface. Called “universal search,” the idea is to incorporate more than simple HTML pages into the results. A search for “London restaurants”, for example, might bring up maps and local results, as well as videos, images, organized reviews, and of course web pages. Every major search engine, from Google to Ask, has incorporated some kind of universality into its search results.

But while universal search points the way toward a new approach to getting you the answers you seek, it’s a half step at best. The results change, somewhat, but the process is pretty much the same. You enter a query, you get a set of results. Not particularly new.

What I find interesting are entirely new approaches to the interface of search.

We’ll be writing one post every week or so for the next six weeks. I hope by the end it’ll be an interesting body of work, it certainly will be if you give me input on what to think about, and critiques of what I’ve written. Thanks!