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March 1, 2006

The Future of Search

Representatives from Google, Yahoo and MSN Search came together at the Wharton Technology Conference in Philadelphia to discuss the future of search technologies. Here are some interesting opinions.

Saleel Sathé, MSN Search:
"Over the next five years we will see significant improvements in how [user interfaces] operate. The average search query is 2.3 words... but if you asked a librarian for information you would not just give them 2.3 words -- you would give them the opportunity to give you the rich detailed answer you want."

Matthew Glotzbach, Google:
"In the distant future we will not be able to get you to take more action, because we will get close enough with what you give us. A lot of emphasis will continue on doing that in the background -- getting the technology to figure out [what you want]," he said. "Larry Page [the co-founder] of Google often says, 'the perfect search engine would understand exactly what you mean and give back exactly what you want'."

Bradley Horowitz, Yahoo:
"Where is the next big breakthrough that gets beyond PageRank? PageRank confers a privilege to Webmasters who vote by proxy for all of us. What we think is the next major breakthrough is social search. It basically democratises the notion of relevance and lets ordinary users decide what's important for themselves and other users,"

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