Business Week writes on what to expect:
Exclusively for You: The most imminent change in search technology will likely arise from personalization — honing results to fit a searcher’s location or preferences.
Paving Memory Lane: Today, search engines such as Google provide a current snapshot of information and views on specific topics available on the Web. But there’s no reliable way to discern how that snapshot changes over time.
Here, There, Everywhere: Probing the Internet is valuable. But much of what a user wants may be tucked away elsewhere — stashed in a Word or PowerPoint file on a hard drive, or in e-mail archived on a server somewhere else. Grabbing such data isn’t easy right now, but companies ranging from Lycos to Microsoft are exploring ways to dig out information from these sources with a single search tool.
Getting Better Results
The average search query contains 2.5 words, leaving plenty of room for interpretation. As a result, searches typically turn up hundreds of links, many of them irrelevant. A handful of startups, from Vivisimo to iXmatch Inc., are using so-called clustering technology that organizes several hundred search results into subject-specific folders.