If ever someone from this current era had to explain to someone from a previous era the concept of a search engine, the simplest yet seemingly preposterous analogy would be to describe such a thing as the sum total of all human knowledge placed beneath a spy glass. Do not be mistaken, we are at a point whereby we have access to an unprecedented volume of data & information.
However, how we currently access this data & information is good enough, but not ideal. So maybe 2007 will be the year when knowledge is finally given a more centextual venue:
- The first time a search engine will have an alternative to indexing; new technology like QDEXing will be developed.
- The first time ontological semantics will be used that will enable a search engine to perceive concepts beyond words and retrieve results with meaningful equivalents.
- The first time that search results will include highlighted best sentences as a result of semantic analysis rather than bolded keywords as a result of finding incidences.
- The first time that a single query will bring a gallery of results equivalent to running multiple queries about the meaningful variations of the same topic.
- The first time a search engine will let users evaluate answers on the spot by displaying uninterrupted and coherent text snippets, often letting searchers forgo having to click through to links and saving time.
- The first time a search engine will have a dialogue utility that will help point out best answers or suggest a Gallery for a more engaging human-like search experience.
- The first time a search engine’s data will grow by detection of new knowledge rather than by detection of new pages. Search engine growth by knowledge will be the new direction for the industry for 2007.
Curiously enough, I very nearly scored a Google Whack when I looked up QDEXing, where Google doesn’t seem to list any references to what QDEXing might be. So I imagine it’s an extremely new technology.
As covered previously here on Blah, Blah! Technology, the semantic web is where the good money is going.
The semantic web changes things considerably. It’s best not to think of smarter searching, but more of smarter ‘knowing’ as websites and web applications begin to know more about themselves, which they then reveal contextually to provide more accurate, semantically accurate search results. Combine this with localized searches, and you have the makings of an extreme level of specificity.
For example, instead of a search query simply attempting to match the pattern of words, or to find a match for a phrase, the search would additionally look for a match in meaning, as well.
Of course, the likes of Google currently provide this kind of service, but there’s also a lot of noise in those search results that doesn’t help with the meaningful signal.
All of this stuff sounds wonderful, but to make any of this happen, new web standards have to be proposed, ratified and implemented.
And that’s only the first part of the puzzle. Next, the likes of me have to make use of these new web standards and technologies while at the same time looking to the web browser developers to roll out software that fully supports these web standards.
No mean feat, that’s for sure.
So if you’re looking for a good result in 2007, best not hold your breath…