The Ultimate Search Engine
Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and others are developing next-generation technologies
that automate and personalize information search.
The search engine, that little browser tool into which you type a phrase, hit
Enter, and hope for the best, is notoriously inefficient, often returning
millions of off-the-mark URLs. People search for 11 minutes on average before
finding what they're looking for, and half abandon searches without getting that
far, according to Microsoft. By Gartner's estimate, half of potential Web sales
are lost because visitors simply can't find what they want.
Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and dozens of search specialists, including those
catering to business customers, are racing to develop next-generation
technologies that do a better job of getting people the information they seek.
With emerging tools, people will no longer have to dumb down their queries with
the pidgin language understood by first-generation search engines. They'll be
able to ask questions in English and other languages--or pose no question at all
and automatically receive results based on their earlier queries or the
applications they're using.
The results users do get will include audio and video files, PowerPoint
slides and other infographics, and structured data--all in one stream of results
culled from the Web, PCs, and company databases. Over time, image searches will
even detect information in the image itself, rather than by parsing
Search results will be more accurate and automatically summarized, with
relevance determined by individual preferences. New methods of presentation such
as clustering, tag clouds, graphical scales that widen or narrow searches based
on parameters, and automated categorization will make it easier to navigate
results. And search engines will be enhanced by human intelligence and the
wisdom of crowds through tagging, social bookmarking, and shared searches.
We won't have to wait long for some of these souped-up search engines. The
following advanced capabilities are beginning to surface in a variety of places.
Read full article at InformationWeek.com