Esther Dyson writes:
Google indexes words and phrases, and then uses the presence of those words plus popularity (the number of webmasters links to a particular page) to determine the ranking of the results a list of pages where the search terms appear. In fact, Googles search algorithms do a little more than that fooling around with synonyms, eliminating stop words, possibly noting some metadata (authors and dates, for example) and other undisclosed tuning but it is concerned with words, not meanings. And all it indexes or analyzes is text on the Web; it knows nothing about anything that is not in words, on the Web.
The future lies in moving beyond both those constraints. One is going beyond the Web, into real life and other media, such as television and films (and advertising); more on that later.
The other is expanding search (and other capabilities) to the meanings of those words on the Web: that is, to concepts, story lines, relationships verbs, not nouns.