Tony Russell-Rose at the Information Interaction Blog co-authored a paper about the changing face of search. He provides the article in this blog post.

Here’s the article’s list of major changes they see already happening or happening in the future:

  1. Freshness of content. Not just recent but fresh AND authoritative.

  2. Context in search and personalization. Already in use by major search engines, e.g. use of information from previous searches and use of user’s location. Implicit use of what users do with search results to infer their interests.

  3. Natural language processing. Especially driven by social media and user-generated content.

  4. Disruptive effect of search engines beyond the big three.

  5. Consolidation in the enterprise search marketplace plus new companies entering the space catalyzed in large part by the maturing of Solr as a viable alternative to commercial search engines.

  6. A growing focus on the user experience. Ten blue links are no longer enough. Search needs to support “exploratory search tasks, such as comparison, aggregation, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and so on.”

  7. Accessibility support beyond the blind community. “For dyslexic people there is a need to understand the searching behaviour of such users, and build personalised interfaces which react to the type of dyslexia and learn from their interaction with the user interface.” Also support for severely physically disabled people.

  8. The digital divide. Getting information to people in countries with oppressive governments. Supporting the use of mobile devices for information exchange.

And, the paper’s conclusion:

Finally, when most people talk about search, they typically envisage a web page with a search box and a results list. But search is increasingly becoming a ubiquitous part of our daily lives, helping us make sense of the world around us. Search is the means by which we are able to cope with our overflowing email inboxes, to generate insights from masses of corporate data, and to discover new restaurants in an unfamiliar city armed only with a smartphone and an Internet connection. Search will be everywhere, but invisible, contextualised, and personalised.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, January 15th, 2011 at 8:26 am and is filed under papers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or TrackBack URI from your own site.

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