Seeing the Future

March 25th, 2011

In August of last year, Gordon Hotchkiss, CEO of Enquiro and one of the most respected voices in search, interviewed Mark Cramer, CEO of Surf Canyon about “Search as a Conversation.” Today Search Engine Land published “Five Visionaries Sum Up the Future of Search” where Gordon highlights some insights from conversations he has had with industry leaders, including:

  • Stephan Weitz – Director, Bing Search
  • John Battelle – Founder, Federated Media and Author, The Search
  • Johanna Wright – Product Management Director, Google Search
  • ShaShi Seth – Senior Vice President, Yahoo! Search Products
  • Mark Cramer – CEO, Surf Canyon

Mark Cramer had this to say:

For the past 40 years since the inception of search, the way it’s worked is this: user enters a query, that query is matched to an index of documents, tremendous activity is deployed to try to determine the relevancies of those different documents, and a search result set is produced. But that search result set is static. There’s an order to those results. They go from 1 to 10 and then 11 to 50 million, and that order does not change. It’s stateless.

What we have been doing for the past few years is essentially applying state to the search page in order to make the results dynamic. And if you consider “dynamic” to be something resembling a conversation in the sense that the search result page is actually responding to every input from the user to alter the content on the fly, then I think that’s an interesting way of looking at searching.

Tags: Media