Chapter 10. What's Next?

Beyond Google and 10 Blue Links

We've already seen that search has progressed substantially from the days of text-only. Search engines have started indexing images, video, and Flash. And search results are reflecting the evolution of the Web by displaying news, video, and images. What's next?

Google isn't going away. As we learned in Chapter 3, Google has become a habit for many searchers and it works well enough that searchers don't have reason to switch. These searchers have also come to expect search that works as well as Google everywhere they navigate online, including their in-site search. Even though Amazon is at its core a retail store, not a search engine, Amazon customers expect Amazon search results to be as relevant and useful to them as Google results are.

Our expectation of effective search everywhere will continue to influence new search engines that use input completely differently from Google's text box and that search over entirely different things. These new search engines won't replace Google. Rather, they'll be additional ways we search as part of everyday activities that may not currently involve search. Google itself will likely begin providing some of these non-text search interfaces over time.

New Search Interfaces

What new search interfaces can we expect to see? Some of them exist already. Shazam[161] is an iPhone application that enables the iPhone owner to hold the phone up to a speaker so Shazam can "listen" to music and identify ...

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