January 16, 2006

Search Tech Opportunities- Improvement #4: Quickly Find What I am Looking for

Posted in innovate this!, Innovation, management at 2:06 pm by scottmaxwell

Following up my post on the opening of the search tech chain, the fourth opportunity that I see is with getting back from a search exactly what I am looking for (a.k.a., user intent). There seem to be various issues and approaches to resolving this issue. I love Google (it looks like Fred Wilson likes Yahoo even more), but I think there are a lot of improvement opportunities available for getting me what I want a lot more quickly (of course, this cuts down on opportunities to show me advertising which could be an EXTREME disincentive for the large search engines to execute well here).

Some thoughts:

  • The current search approach is word-based. If I choose the right words, I get the right set of results. If I am clever (negative words, quotes, etc.), I will get even more accurate results. But what if I don’t know the right words (or, perhaps the sites don’t know the right words) and what if I am not clever? Quintura has a new solution to help me in certain ways (at least if I have a Windows machine at this point). Perhaps there are other, better ways as well, such as search engines offering up concept search in addition to word search, (and some other features that I will discuss in a later post). btw, I met with Quintura guys on my last trip to Moscow. Really smart team and making a lot of rapid progress with their product.
  • Even if the word-based search with the current word search, the SEO crowd has crowded out many of the sites that I am really looking for, so I still have a problem finding what I am looking for first. The Quintura-like solution will partially solve this problem, but one or more of the mashers (actually, most of the mashers) should allow me to take my starter set of URIs and allow me to reprioritize it in any way I like. How about by amount of traffic OR what my network thinks is good, OR what the bloggers (even better, technorati rated bloggers for this topic) talk about most OR anything else some clever person comes up with. I would also like the approach that allows me to combine different rating techniques in different ways to truly understand the “best sites” for me from various angles.
  • Of course, once there are enough pico-domains, the pico aggregator should allow me to find the pico-domain which should pretty quickly point me to the right resource (this is not a replacement, but rather another approach to the basic search approach).

Lots of room for innovation here (and I am sure I missed a lot)…

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