How fortunate we were to get three search gurus on the same program to tell us what’s new in search! Chris Sherman, Amelia Kassel, and Steve Arnold agreed that search is going through a radical upheaval, but they took different viewpoints of the current situation.
Chris Sherman reviewed the position of the “Big 4” in search and came to the conclusion that search will become a combination of algorithmic and people-mediated search, with trust networks and increased personalization and user control over result filtering. He sees more personalization and more specialized sites coming out of the current emphasis on social networking.
Amelia Kassel thinks that searchers need to be more aware of search engine marketing strategies and incorporate them into marketing plans for their information centers. She said that we need to recognize that the search engine business is not at all about search, but about advertising because advertising brings nearly all the revenue in to the search companies.
And Steve Arnold told us that enterprise searching is very sick and on the verge of failure, but he thinks that text mining will come to its rescue. He sees a major shakeout with some intense infighting among the challengers for the enterprise search market. According to Steve, today’s enterprise search engine platforms do not scale well for larger audiences or the advanced searching of images and other forms of information that today’s sophisticated users want. Text searching is the most complex problem in computer science, and we need to understand that it involves significant technical, cost, and indexing issues.
The next session has a presentation on “The Death of Search”. It will be very interesting to see how that will fit with this one on the Future of Search.
Columnist, Information Today