Is search passé?

August, 2010

For years users have been complaining about intranet search, and for years search engine vendors have been touting new features to solve the problem — taxonomies, faceted search, social search, better relevancy algorithms. But now there are indications that these incremental improvements are not enough and that the whole idea of full text search has had its day. Instead of using a search box to find a needle in a haystack of documents, users will open an application custom tailored to their location, task, and situation. Information will be a combination of data, narrative text, and comments from a wide range of sources, including people and devices.

The trend is not new, but there are indications that we are close to a tipping point. In this month's issue, we summarize articles in consumer search, business intelligence, and academic support services, showcase some examples, and draw some conclusions for corporate information professionals.

Is Google over?
The August 16, 2010 cover of Fortune magazine asks "Is Google over?" The focus of the article is why its earnings growth has slowed from 30% - 40% in past years to a projected 18% this year. No one is suggesting that Google will disappear, but rather that investors looking for outsized returns would do well to look elsewhere. Google, say the authors, has become a cash cow instead of a growth stock.

What's interesting is why.

Created on August 24, 2010 l Updated on August 24, 2010