17 Search Innovations

I just read an interesting article called “Top 17 Search Innovations Outside Of Google” over on Read/Write Web.

I would say that the article is required reading for anyone working in the search space on the web. It lists what it feels are the top 17 search innovations going on outside of Google (hence the title, duh!), and includes names of companies active in each area.

One inaccuracy:

The big difference from Google is that these engines consider “stopwords” to be significant – minor connecting words like by, for, about, of, in – unlike Google, which discards them.

This is not correct, Google has been indexing stopwords for at least 2 years, so the search “to be or not to be” works.

The conclusions are not fully correct:

Clearly, Google is not going to take this onslaught lying down. Just as it has already introduced personalized search into its primary search engine, it will continue to integrate some of these other approaches into the mainstream as they become successful. For example, Vertical specialization is a powerful tool that Google is sure to use.

It is very likely that in the future, the simple “search box” on the Google front page will hide a variety of specialized search engines behind it. On the other hand, trying to cram in an increasing number of these sophisticated features has the potential to make the overall architecture for Google (or any mainstream web search engine) very complex and difficult to change, so the trade-offs will present an increasingly difficult challenge! In a separate article on the Software Abstractions blog, we take a look at the conceptual architecture for a mainstream search engine that incorporates most of these features.

I think there is already a lot more going on ‘behind the simple “search box”on the Google front page’, you can search for telephone numbers for example, for addresses, for definitions and a lot more. It may be that Google needs to split those up into more logical groups in the future, but for right now it works well and it likely to do so for the forseable future. The great thing about the ‘simple “search box”‘ is that it is very easy for users to understand, and you can add ‘smarts’ behind it without requiring the user to change their searching behavior.

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