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Seven Search Engine Evolutions for '07 72

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the new-and-improved dept.
eldavojohn writes "I found a short but interesting list of predicted evolutions of search engines that will most likely be implemented in 2007. While some are vague and obvious like a better human interactive experience, there are others that are worth looking into like alternative means of indexing and using semantics — not keywords — for matching documents. The author of this list is Dr. Riza Berkan, also the author of 'Fuzzy Systems Design Principles.'"
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Seven Search Engine Evolutions for '07

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  • by conner_bw (120497) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @11:22AM (#17268614) Homepage Journal
    The most relevant search results are the ones I've seen before, else it's called "exploring" not searching.

    I'm tired of having to sift through hundred of SEO rigged garbage sites and/or blogs to find what I'm looking for. When I'm looking for something i'd like to find it. Not some new shittier variation of it.

    Good times.

    • by bedonnant (958404)
      unfortunately, the explosion in number of blogs is likely to make that goal impossible.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cp.tar (871488)
      The most relevant search results are the ones I've seen before, else it's called "exploring" not searching.

      But then you have a browser called Internet Explorer... Confused yet?

    • Use Delicious and search your bookmarks... easy-peasy and you can do it now.

      But you're right. Search Engines should be keeping a list of sites you visit and associating them with your user account and IP address... so you can get a list of previously visited sites that meet your keywords at the top of the page or in a sidebar... OR SHOULD THEY?

    • by Mex (191941)
      As am I. That's why I switched my homepage from Google to the Wikipedia. It's a faster gateway into real information.
  • by bedonnant (958404)
    an article beginning with a bill gates quote cant be wrong.
  • Slashvertisement (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TodMinuit (1026042) <todminuit&gmail,com> on Saturday December 16, 2006 @11:24AM (#17268626)
    Most of the things listed seem to make results more ambigious, not narrow them down.

    Even if you could radically change the way a search engine works, you then face an even bigger task: Forcing users to radically change their searching habits to fit your search engine.

    And what the hell is "QDEXing"? Google reveals nothing, therefore we can conclude it does not, in fact, exist.
    • by Mostly a lurker (634878) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @11:59AM (#17268864)
      Yes, if you search for "QDEX search", you find a few links, but is is basically a plug for a specific search engine: Hakia Search Engine [hakia.com]
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Just tried searching on Hakia - this thing is truly a piece of crap. Altavista circa 1995 would have returned better results than this. I tried searching for "Java 1.5 API Documentation," and a link to Sun's documentation does not even appear on the front page. The top results are not even related to Java. Indeed, the top results seems to be gibberish:

        The glimpse will appear him whether it was at him; and they to men who are seemed a goodly mild reserve in the the impression continents except java api d

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Evangelion (2145)
      Google reveals nothing, therefore we can conclude it does not, in fact, exist.

      God, that is so beautiful.
    • Don't you hate when marketing BS is written about as if it were something significant. If it ain't on Google then it isn't even on a website that knows how to get itself properly indexed.
  • In 2007? (Score:4, Informative)

    by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Saturday December 16, 2006 @11:24AM (#17268628) Journal

    Ah, let me just tag this article 'semanticweb'... there, much better now...

    As early as 2007? Now I don't really believe that.

    It may get partially implemented, and probably only in English.
    Maybe Chinese as well.

    Most of the other languages will have to wait for quite a while beforehand...

    Not to say semantic search is a bad idea or anything... I, for one, would like to see some image-, audio- and video-search based on some kind of semantics, not tags and names... but that'll just have to wait.

    • Ah, let me just tag this article 'semanticweb'... there, much better now...

      Perhaps in 2007 we'll get semantically correct posts too.
      • by cp.tar (871488)
        Perhaps in 2007 we'll get semantically correct posts too.

        Evolution of computers has, alas, proven to be much speedier than evolution of human mind.

        Semantically correct posts will have to wait until computers start writing them.

    • by patro (104336)
      I'd be satisfied with partial (prefix) search for a start. Searching for "eco*" should return economy, economies, economist, etc.

      This alone would help a lot.
    • It's been extraordinarily difficult to get the kind of results this guy is talking about, and that was in a research environment that was free of SEO spammers deliberately attacking the algorithms.
  • Putting this kind of emphasis on search is wise. MS knows this and put a vastly improved searching into Vista. Some say its better than other desktop searches. This is similiar to having a good memory in a human being, quite useful in practice.
  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @11:42AM (#17268758) Journal
    ...that I was unimpressed when "fussy logic" was a buzzword a decade ago. I do not look forward to it's resurgence in the marketing lexicon.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hmmm.... and these predictions are in a press release from someone with a new search engine which (surprise!) opens shop in '07.

    Can someone tag the article "spam"?
  • Yoople! [yoople.net] has already introduced a more engaging human-like search experience and let the people collaborate in order to create a better indexing.

    Ok, someone could say it's the perfect way to permit abuses and lot of work has still do be done, but it's a smart proposal to start from. Don't you think?

    http://www.yoople.net/ [yoople.net]
  • by RealSurreal (620564) * on Saturday December 16, 2006 @12:01PM (#17268878)
    Let's hope it's better than the author's search engine, hakia.com. Just used it to search for "nike stores in the uk". First result is an etailer in the US, all the others are spam sites. Looks like we've got a long way to go before search engines actually understand what I'm looking for.
  • by eebra82 (907996) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @12:07PM (#17268904) Homepage
    Can somebody please explain what a semantic search would look like? I'm not sure if I understand the meaning.
    • It means that if you wanted to know the score of the a certain sporting event.

      We'll go with Steelers vs. Bengals for now.

      You could type in score Steelers and Bengals and it would return something like...

      20 - 17 Steelers
      11:23 3rd Quarter
      Bengals Ball on Steelers 47
      • by alexhard (778254)
        Since I don't really understand semantics either...would that happen automatically or would it have to be a pre-programmed function like google's currency exchange, or calculator? I'm guessing not, but wouldn't that be amazingly hard to implement?
    • by a.d.trick (894813)

      The term "semantic" is very poorly used. Almost, every search engine employs some level of semantics. For example, text that is inside page headers (like <h1> elements) has more importance than other text. Things like meta tags are seached for information. The people who talk about semantic seach engines are really asking for more semantics than currently exist. It's something of a pipe dream though, because it takes a long time to change the way that websites talk to each other.

  • Honestly, I can't see myself NOT using Google in the years ahead. It's become too ingrained in my lifestyle. If I don't know what something means, I google it. In fact, in the rare times that Google is down, I find myself lost and constantly clicking "home" (www.google.com) only to find it doesn't work.
  • Clearly the way forward for search is to make an algorithmic search engine, and have it scrape information from a dead human edited directory.

    Google directory. Bringing you the future today.
    • by Kensai7 (1005287)
      What about a "learning" search engine (and directory)? I prefer to spend 15-minutes-per-week to tune this engine by feeding it with words, sentences, documents, etc. and then leave heuristics do the rest. Most of the things I search are similar to my work, hobbies, and interests. Ranking the results is critical for not wasting time. Of course, a great and intelligent algorithm is imperative. My faith is in Google. Again...
  • Why not some "intelligent design" when it comes to search engines? "Spore" looks like a nice game but I wouldn't base a search engine on it since the result set would be too Darwinian. :P
  • "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."

    Doesnt ask.com give you this functionality already?
  • That was a pretty good article, even though most of the stuff on there was pretty obvious (for most of us /.'ers) to begin with.

    I think it was only inevitable that internet searching focuses more on the "type as you speak" initiative rather than the older term-by-term searching of the past. This would be great for us, but I really see that the benefits would cater more to the average man/woman who already has a difficult time searching because they are using "the wrong terms."

    I really think that Google

  • by saddino (183491) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @12:34PM (#17269050)
    4. 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.

      5. 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.


    Both of these have been available for a couple of years: e.g. searching on the single query "semantic web" using CQ web [q-phrase.com], reveals clusters such as these:


    fuzzy sets
    fuzzy systems
    neural networks
    set theory
    soft computing
    aritifical intelligence
    control systems
    expert systems


    And each one of which is linked to a specific page of results using sentences instead of snippets, e.g. for artificial intelligence:


    1. This paper will present the foundations of fuzzy systems...noteworthy objections to its use with examples drawn from current research in the field of artificial intelligence.
    Fuzzy Systems - A Tutorial [austinlinks.com]
    2. The most obvious implementation for the fuzzy logic is the field of artificial intelligence.
    Fuzzy Logic [ufl.edu]
    3. Ultimately it will be demonstrated...fuzzy systems makes a viable addition to the field of artificial intelligence and perhaps more generally to formal mathematics.
    Fuzzy Systems - A Tutorial [austinlinks.com]
    4. The paper gives examples of the fuzzy logic applications with emphasis on the field of artificial intelligence.
    Fuzzy Logic [ufl.edu]
    5. A collection of articles and other technical resources for artificial intelligence.
    PC AI - Fuzzy Logic [pcai.com]


    • by cain (14472)
      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

      That's the worst haiku I've ever read.

  • Some of these things (1,6) sound pretty specific to technology that the author's company: Hakia is promising to produce this year. Some of these items (2,4,5) are already being performed by major search engines, but are done behind the scenes and are not immediatly obvious to the user. #2 Will continue to be perfected over thext 20 years, not the next 12 months. #3 Sounds like a reasonable extension to the traditional practice of bolding keywords. I'd like to see this implemented, though I think it wil
  • by whitroth (9367) <whitroth AT 5-cent DOT us> on Saturday December 16, 2006 @01:32PM (#17269540) Homepage
    I know from an ex-wife, a librarian, that librarians have been doing searches for fifteen or twenty years using such constuctions as NEAR . None of the popular search engines, from google on down, do this. It would *certainly* make my life easier, and result in relevant hits, rather than 100k hits because some asshole advertisers have thrown a laundry list into their META tag.

                    mark
  • by foniksonik (573572) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @01:37PM (#17269580) Homepage Journal
    I just want to tell the engine that keyword 1 is 5 times as important as keyword 2

    Give me a slider control that instantly filters the results... ie: have the first 100 results waiting for me with 20 showing, then let me adjust the weight of my keywords until I get the list I am looking for with individual items falling off or being added to the list as I adjust the controls.

  • It Is About Time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BoRegardless (721219) on Saturday December 16, 2006 @01:43PM (#17269620)
    I am sick of getting 100,000 irrelevnt hits & then doing dozens of narrowing searches, only to find that the word & phrase hits are all in different paragraphs or even unrelated articles on the same page.

    Bring it on NOW.
    • by robogun (466062)
      Also, they need to dump the useless "supplemental results" or at least let us turn that crap off.
  • Good grief... it's not a scientific paper, it's not a journalist's article, it isn't any meaningful content at all - it's a press release. Right off of BusinessWire. What's next, Ron Popeil's predictions for 2007?
  • When I go to do a search on my computer, I'm comforted by that little doggy. I wish Google would follow Microsoft's example and replace the little box to type in a search query with an animated animal, something with more limbs for going out on those internets and finding stuff.
  • People have been futzing with the concept through data-mining for years...it's about time it went into a search engine. And what an engine! I tried it out, and compared it to Google (I had to re-enter the search query in a different syntax to get relevant results) - and I found it more useful! Who knew? Two bones to pick: 1) "7 search evolutions" seems like one idea rehashed into seven bullet points. A little redundant. 2) FTFA:

    "However, heavy users of search already understand that the average search takes 11 minutes and 50 percent of searches are abandoned."

    Um... no, I didn't know that. Where did you collect the data? How did y

  • Well, I have tried some keywords and Hakia has objectively less relevant sites when Google not.
    Don't make Adversing with Slashdot guys help when you have nothing new to offer.
  • There's a problem with über-smart semanting search engines - if they provide answer right away (by understanding semantics and/or choosing very relevant snippet), there will be little incentive for users to visit web sites that provided the information. This means that search engines will steal ad revenue from content providers and content providers will revolt agains such engines.

    This is already a problem to some extent - Nielsen wrote about this in 2k4 [useit.com].

  • Predictions are always difficult. Here are some comment from somebody
    working in the field:

    > 1. The first time a search engine will have an alternative to
    > indexing; new technology like QDEXing will be developed.

    Indexing is a pre-requisite for fast access of retrieval results.
    Even distributed peer-to-peer indices that are a very attractive
    idea suffer from bad performance due to the absence of a monolithic
    index owned by an organization with huge bandwith.

    > 2. The first time ontological semantics w
  • I think human input will definitely come into play in the future of search. Ultimately you can make machines very good at recognizing spam content, but how can you possibly identify what people really want to see without asking them?

    The way forward is to allow people to reorder their results and to delete spam results. This way we'll have a search engine that actually learns what people want and acts appropriately. Sites like Digg and Reddit are on to something in this sense. They use 'swarm' technologies t

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