How will search evolve in the future?
With the recent release of Microsoft’s new search engine Bing and the launch of the computational search engine Wolfram Alpha, it’s clear that plenty of players are still eager to challenge Google’s dominance of search.
Search is an enormous part of web use and it is clear that Google holds a dominant position in search. In fact, we have reached a point in time now where search innovation may actually be hindered by our familiarity with Google’s page layout and style of results.
Recently the Catalyst NYC usability research firm (http://www.catalystnyc.com/cofactors/2009/06/google-vs-bing-search-engine-preference/) conducted a study comparing Google with Bing. One of the most interesting results that the study revealed is that while the users involved in the study preferred Bing’s design, most stated that they would continue to use Google as their primary search engine.
This level of brand loyalty and trust in Google’s results raises some very interesting questions for the future of search. With this level of dominance, Google certainly must feel very real pressure to live up to the expectations of web users by continuing to improve on the quality of search results and also through valid innovation in the search experience.
Will there be room for a one stop search location that allows for multiple search styles (such as keyword and computational searching) in the future? What about running two different search styles simultaneously and displaying the results together? Will Google be able to maintain its dominance in search by trying to cover every new trend or will search inevitably fragment into areas of particular specialisation?
It will be interesting to see if website owners and developers will soon be confronted with the need for very complex SEO strategies that address not only different search engines, but also different kinds of search logic targeted towards specific types of enquiries.