I can’t be the only one who thinks that search engines suck subway scum. There’s Google’s search engine, and Yahoo!, and Microsoft’s new Bing (which will be Yahoo! very soon), and a few dozen others. 15 years into public internet search and it’s still the same. Enter keywords, wait for page, click for hours to find something useful.
The Motley Fool’s Tim Beyers on Bing:
Bing ought to be able to show you what others think of the content you’re searching for—whether they have saved it, how they rate it, and how they use tags to categorize it.
Now, that’s an idea with legs. Except, that to get ratings on search results requires search engine users to leave ratings. That’s more work. Yahoo! has this social bookmarking thing called Delicious. Could that get integrated into Yahoo!‘s version of Bing?
Say you use Yahoo! to search for “The Motley Fool.” You’d see what you see today—pages ordered by ranking, as well as related searches—plus information about how those pages were tagged, how many times, and by which Delicious users in your network. Beyond that, adding ratings or exposing comments wouldn’t be difficult.
Except for the fact that I don’t like Delicious, I do like the idea of some sort of regulated approach to ratings on search engine results. Why? Most results suck subway scum. There’s too much crapola to wade through to get what you want, despite the advanced search options. The term in use already is social search, which I don’t like as much as rated search.
Social search is a way of sharpening what has classically been a blunt instrument—the give-me-everything-you-can-find-as-fast-as-you-can search engine. Both Bing and Google are like this today, but won’t be forever.
That’s because both Facebook and Twitter already provide social search, which provides specific results often better than Google, Yahoo!, or Bing. What of Google’s Wave. I like this stream concept where everything rolls together because it’s all encompassing, but encompasses a little too much of Google’s world to give me comfort.
The real trick is to develop search results that are closer to expectations than to advertising hooks. Easier said than done because we don’t pay to search. Social search like Delicious is yet again another promise that search results will be better. In the future.