The future of search is a layered cake


Some months ago I was surfing the net and came upon a post that featured a brief conversation at the end of it. Someone was watching a panel discussion and they were talking about the future of search. (I wish I could find the post.) They were discussing the rise of social search and predicted that search/search results would eventually have three layers.

  1. Social – Return results from your social circle first. The thought is that those that know you OR those that are passionate about the subject and create content centered around the items your searching on will provide the most relevant information.
  2. Business – Think Bing, but more successful. Search engines are for shopping, not just research and shopping is right up there as far as online activities.
  3. Algorithm – Think Google. Return the mathematically relevant sites first. PageRank works from a statistical standpoint but may not represent overall online intent with respect to the search.

So . . . this is what the future of search is predicted to be and it makes sense. (This is why Google is terrified of Facebook and the potential of Rockmelt.) There would of course be some overlap between the three categories since some friends may recommend a business solution, etc. Social results would show up on the first page and then business related results and then algorithmic. Or maybe they would be in separate tabs. The only other thing I remember about the post was the tail end of the conversation which when something like this:

” . . . wow. Sounds like we just figured something out. Something important. I bet someone writes a book about it.”

I really wish I could find that post!