Is Search Dead?

by Sachin Balagopalan on July 15, 2008 · 5 comments

While Web 2.0 may be a boon to the average Joe/Jane - who can publish pretty much any content he or she chooses to on the internet these days - it might very well turn out to be the bane of search engine technology. Just search on any topic today and you’ll be deluged with links to literally hundreds if not thousands of sites. That in turn results in information overload and decision making as to how best to consume the information because more often than not you’ll come across conflicting views on the topic you’re searching for.

So the question then is has search engine technology reached the top of the bell curve? The technology that gathers and groups information based on keywords has been largely responsible for making the internet usable so far. Without search engines like Google, Yahoo and a slew of others the internet would probably be useless for the most part. With increasing number of websites and web content there is a great need to suppress the “noise” and filter out relevant information based on the current situation of the user. Om “GigaOM” Malik in his syndicated column on BusinessWeek pretty much nails it with this audio analogy …

If someone can become the Dolby of the Web—remove the noise and give us clear sound—then they are going to make a lot of money. And when I say sound, I mean data that is truly useful.

And as Mr. Malik points out whoever the next Ray Dolby of the web is he/she stands to not only make a ton of money but perhaps have a huge impact for many generations to come (just as Ray Dolby does). Whatever this new “thing” is going to be it cannot simply involve a mashup of web sources based on keywords and filters anymore. IMO the user’s “mood” has to be factored in as well. While keyword, person and location patterns could certainly give you a snap shot of what’s relevant at any given point it still does not reflect an individual’s current mood and context. I mean you could have a headache and search on “headache medicine” for example but there is no way for the search engine to really know that you actually have a headache at the moment and are searching for medicine that could potentially cure your headache and not the Department of Neurology at some medical school that explains the different kinds of migraine. OK so you can narrow your search criteria but that’s not the point - you shouldn’t have to and should not be a chore to hunt down the info.

Capturing mood data is not that easy at least without considerable human intervention. Social networking sites are probably the closest to what we have right now that may reflect a users current mood. Micro blogging sites like Twitter, FriendFeed and Jaiku are probably the best source right now for “mood” based data and perhaps the next “big” search application may evolve out of the data structures of Twitter, Jaiku and others!

Until then we’ll have to continue to rely on keyword based search engines.


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07.26.08 at 12:30 pm

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fantazi iç giyim 04.05.11 at 1:22 am

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elbise modelleri 04.05.11 at 1:54 am

thanks for the posts

gelinlik modelleri 04.05.11 at 2:00 am

thanks for the article useful for me

alevi 04.05.11 at 2:04 am

good post

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