The Search For Better Search
Here are some of my thoughts on The Future.
The future of search engines is about context and authority.
The future of search engines will provide more relevant information because they will have more information: my level of expertise in different disciplines (5th grader versus a post-doc), my current location (geographic and home/work), what I am working on at the moment (writing a research paper, writing code, reading news, researching my next trip, etc...), etc...
Second, search engines will (hopefully) be able to tell the difference between overall popularity and topical authority. For example, The Wall Street Journal may not be an authority on Food or culinary information. And a mere blogger may be an authority on Personalization.
The future of search has major implications for digital identity and privacy as people do more online. Search engines will begin to be aware of what we do: what websites we visit through toolbars, what searches we execute, what search results and ads we click on, what information is in our documents, and how this information is connected with our blogs and even our Amazon Wishlists and product reviews.
How much privacy are you willing to give up to get good search results? How much is necessary?
As John Battelle commented:
To get there, we'll need to trust that everything we disclose online - our behaviors, our clickstreams, and our intent - are managed through a trusting relationship. The future of search is as a conversation with someone we trust.How much do you trust Google? Or MSN or Yahoo?
In the future, the service that gets my search traffic may not be who provides the most relevant search results, but the one I trust with my data the most.