With apologies to Meg Whitman, Marissa Meyer holds the title. At least today, anyway. Meyer is the VP of Search Products & User Experience for Google. She keynoted an event yesterday discussing the future of search – though really she was talking about the future of Google. While it’s likely that the search engine you use five years from now won’t be Google (or, at the very least, not the Google you’re using today), it’s well worth reading how Meyer sees that future unfolding.
- 1800Goog411 – Voice-activated search. Very cool. Get ready for the age of device-independence.
- Universal Search – Elimination of the silos separating image search from news from web from whatever, and so on. It could overwhelm the typical user with the sheer volume of results. But, if the results could somehow know what’s most important to the user, maybe having video, text, images, news and the like about a single topic side-by-side would provide tremendous utility. Which brings us to…
- iGoogle – Personalized home page on Google, incorporating RSS feeds and widgets (which Google calls Gadgets). As search results get increasingly broad, iGoogle should enable Google to understand what you’re looking for specifically when you type in a term like “java” (tropical island, programming language, coffee?). If your Gadgets and RSS feeds indicate a preference for one item over another, then your search results will likely incorporate those preferences. Allows for more targeted advertising, too.