Andy Beal writes about search engines and interviews Microsoft’s Robert Scoble.
An idea from Andy: “Google has the technology to really take advantage of search within email. Why else would it even consider entering this arena? Imagine that, in order to use a free Google email account, you allow Google to provide advertisements and track your email activities. Google could change the way that search results and ads are displayed to free email users. For example, let’s say you receive an email from your brother, the content of which, among other things, gloats about the brand new P4 desktop computer that they just purchased from Dell. As part of the interface you use to read that email, Google magically displays paid search advertising for desktop computers, including a link that will take you directly to the appropriate page on Dell.com. This information would be quite beneficial to you, as you may be interested in seeing how you too can be a proud owner of a P4 computer. Fantastic targeted advertising for Dell, as they know that if you click on the listing, they are halfway there to converting you into another satisfied customer…This idea is so much closer to reality than you may think. Google already has the advertisers with its AdWords service boasting 150,000 users, eager to spend their advertising dollars. It also has the technology to determine which results to show you within your email interface. Google’s AdSense can provide the contextual ad technology that would scan an email’s content to determine which ads are the most relevant to display.”
Scoble: “For Internet searches, I see social behavior analysis tools like Technorati becoming far more important. Why? Because people want different ways to see potentially relevant results. Google took us a long way toward that future as their Google’s results are strongly influenced by how many inbound links a site has. But, now, let’s go further, even further than Technorati has gone. Let’s identify who really is keeping the market up to date on a certain field and give him/her more weight…I also see that search engines that search just specific types of content (like Feedster) are going to be more important (Feedster only searches RSS and Atom syndication feeds)…Oh, and users are going to demand new ways of exporting searches. Google showed us that with News Alerts. Enter in a search term, like ‘Microsoft’ and get emailed anytime a news source mentions Microsoft. Feedster goes further than that. There you can build an RSS feed from a search term. I have several of those coming into my RSS News Aggregator and find they are invaluable for watching what the weblogs are saying about your product, company, or market. For instance, one of my terms I built a feed for is “WinFS” — I’ll be watching to see how many people link to this article and if any of you have something interesting to say I’ll even link back.”