Thanks to Greg Sterling for, Yahoo: We’re Moving From Web Of Pages To Web Of Objects. While I’m not sure that Yahoo! will reclaim its position as a search competitor, their re-framing of search certainly has a lot of our attentions:
The big idea (now familiar) is moving beyond “10 blue links” (popularized as a criticism of search by former Ask CEO Jim Lanzone) to a “web of objects.” The “web of objects” presented by Yahoo is a better representation of the “real world” in search results. In other words: more closely aligning user intent with search results and mapping those to real-world tasks.
Google’s Eric Schmidt also sees a future of search beyond the 10 blue links:
“We’re trying to figure out what the future of search is,” Mr Schmidt said. “One idea is that more and more searches are done on your behalf without you needing to type.
“I actually think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions. They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.”
Many of us probably aren’t ready to wake up from the social media hang over to face the reality that all of our personal affairs have been publicly recorded via the global Interwebs. Nonetheless, each paints a very intriguing picture of what search might look like in the not too distant future.
My suspicion is that we will see much more integration between search and the social web. Even more than we are currently seeing. Search is our access point to the Internet. If you watch people use the web, you will see that there are three primary ways that people get to stuff online. One, they search for it. Two, they type the website into the address bar (direct visit), or three they click a link.
The big thing that’s changing is the nature of content and organization of web content. Content has, as still is to a large extent, primarily text, pages, and links. This is likely to change dramatically as more video, dynamic, and interactive forms of content emerge. In fact, we are on the precipice of the next major evolution of the web, HTML 5.
While you might assume that HTML 5 is simply the next iteration of HTML, you’d be largely mistaken. HTML 5 is less of an HTML version upgrade, and more of an entirely new mark up language. While some of the basics of HTML still exist in 5, this next generation language allows developers to communicate information through HTML like never before. This is will have a profound impact on, you guessed it, search.
Rich media formats will become the norm. Search results will look more like web apps than they do search results pages. They will be more about doing than they are about finding. At least that’s my guess.