One of the most respected voices in understanding search user behavior, Gordon Hotchkiss is the CEO of Enquiro and a popular keynote speaker at search industry events. His ongoing series on Search Engine Land regarding the future of search has so far included conversations with Bing’s Stefan Weitz, author and CEO of Federated Media John Battelle and Google’s Johanna Wright. The latest installment in the “Where Is Search Going?” series is an interview with Mark Cramer, CEO of Surf Canyon.
Gordon had some very flattering things to say. After referring to one of the experiments outlined in our research paper, which was recently published by SIGIR, he replied, “A 40% uptick in user satisfaction by any measure is pretty impressive.” Later, after describing a little about the algorithm behind the re-ranking he responded, “That was impressive. An algorithm that recognizes the subtlety of subcontext has some decent IP cred behind it.” He concluded with:
“… I installed Surf Canyon and was fairly impressed. It was more helpful than I expected (though there may be few more skeptical critics of search user experiences than me)… If you’re not a search marketer [who often needs to see the “vanilla” version of the SERP], I’d definitely recommend taking it for a spin.”
Gordon’s next post in the series will be Part II of the conversation with Mark Cramer in which they will “speculate on where search might go in the future.”
[Update 10/1/2010] – Search Engine Land has published the second part of the interview.