Jan Pedersen, chief scientist for core search at Microsoft, shared his thoughts on the current search market and its future direction in this post on the Huffington Post. Pedersen's piece echoes a lot of what Google's Marissa Mayer wrote in a September 2008 post on the future of search. What this means is Microsoft gets search, something that we couldn't say with a straight face before Bing launched in June. The similarities between the way Google and Microsoft view search hold together to the end. Well, almost. There is one area where Microsoft's and Google's views on search seem to diverge: scale.
: Many of us know what Google thinks of search. In
addition to the regular search innovations the company throws against the wall-see
last week's launch of Google Fast Flip
and today's Sidewiki
, the company's leaders blast out state of the union
addresses on the topic.
"The Future of Search
" published by Marissa Mayer, vice
president of search products and user experience at Google, in September 2008,
is fitting for a company that leads the free world in search engine market
What you haven't seen are such state of search posts from Google's rivals
Yahoo and Microsoft. Until now. Jan Pedersen, chief scientist for core search
at Microsoft, shared his thoughts on the current search market and its future
direction in this post
on the Huffington Post Sept. 22.
When we read it, we quickly realize that Google is no longer the smartest
kid in the class. Sure, Google may have the most search marbles, but Pedersen's
piece echoes a lot of what Mayer wrote in her post from September 2008. What
this means is Microsoft gets search, something that we couldn't say with a
straight face before Bing launched in June. Still, at 9 percent
, Bing has a long way to go to catch Google's 65
percent search market share.
In his post, Pedersen argued that search is limited because it understands
little of what we say and for that reason it isn't as good at helping users
collect, organize and act on information. Eventually, search will be the
easiest way to answer a question or to complete a task. Mayer, meanwhile,
noted: "There are lots of ways that search will need to evolve in order to
easily meet user needs."
Pedersen said search will be buoyed by the growth of the Internet, with
devices, users, services and information growing along with computing power and
"algorithmic ingenuity." We also have the glut of user-generated
content and social outlets such as Wikipedia, Twitter, Flickr and Facebook to
thank for spurring search development. He pointed to startups offering
real-time search services.
But Bing, like Google and Yahoo, uses another form of user-generated data to
boost search: the feedback users provide with their searches. Bing uses this
data in aggregate to enhance search results. Google search services gauge their
users search behavior, too. Pedersen added:
"By mining the vast amounts of behavioral data that accumulate through
usage and through explicit and implicit contribution to the Web, search engines
will become increasingly adept at anticipating user intentions. Ultimately this
will extend to the common actions and services associated with the content
someone is looking for. For example, it will be possible in the near future to
reserve a table at a restaurant or order a taxi from the 'search results' page
for these queries."
What Pedersen described as user-generated data Mayer called personalization
when she wrote in her post:
"Search engines of the future will be better in part because they will
understand more about you, the individual user. Of course, you will be in
control of your personal information, and whatever personal information the
search engine uses will be with your permission and will be transparent to you.
But even with the most rudimentary user information, search engines can and
will provide drastically better search results."