What could a next-generation Search Engine offer that Google Doesn't?

I was sitting here thinking about just how much I use Google, and about how many people over the last few years I have turned onto google. It’s becoming a normal word for searching for anything on the internet. Things I adore about google start with it’s simplicity. There is an easy to use homepage that does not have anything annoying on it. The ‘prime color’ lettering is attractive in the primal, simplstic way, catering to our inner child…It’s as efficient and simple as anything could be, and is the least intrusive I can imagine.

Next Gen search engines are said to be on their way: MSN and Yahoo are working on the largest ones IIRC. My question is simple: What would a Next Gen search engine offer us that google doesn’t? Deeper more concise searches? Accuracy perhaps? Hmmmm??

A happy ending.

I got nothin’.

Links that are all current?
And the technology to delete broken or dead links?

If they incorporate those two, I’m all for it!

I’d like to see a search that could filter out the “non hits” … the lists of links that don’t really have anything to do with anything.

A “pop-up ahead” warning.

But I think that the main thing that a next generation search engine will have going for it is a new, also sensical algorithm - now that people have a good idea of how google works out rankings, it’s possible to manipulate the results. Ideally that shouldn’t happen. [Google bombs are amusing, but not really helpful to search results.]

Those would just be changes to the current search methodology, and could be added by Google itself - not really next-gen, in my opinion.

What made Google so different when it came out was that it used “how many people refer to this site as an authority” as a measure of how good a match a particular site is. This has some obvious drawbacks - for instance, if enough people create links on their site that refer to “the evil empire” and point to whitehouse.gov, that can become the top search result.

But anyway, I think the Next Big Thing will be a search engine that combines Google’s massive crawling and rating ability with some sort of artificial inteligence that can figure out 1.) what you’re really looking for and 2.) whether this page is what you really want. This would be pretty hard to do well, but would definately blow me away. If you’re researching breast cancer, for instance, it would be nice if it actually found medical articles, and not thousands of porn sites.

What about, along with the text results, clustering of results, so that similar items are listed together.

Something like Grokker (free 30 day trial) or kartoo (web based, free), that also shows how things are connected.

There’s another one I’ve see, but I can’t remember the name of it at the moment. The ones I’ve used aren’t as intuitive as I’d like yet, but I think it’s a concept worth watching to see what comes out of it.

For instance, if you want to research “violence” and “prisoners”, you would be able to indicate whether you mean violence commited by prisoners on other prisoners, by prisoners on guards, or by guards on prisoners. Or you might even mean prisoners who have been convicted of violent crimes.

A “Cite finder”:-
It would detect the searcher’s bias and only throw up links that supported his/her worldview - save all that sifting!

(I mean that others do, of course)

a) true boolean search terms

b) word or phrase “x” appearing at least “y” number of times

c) “rank by” ____ <—— another boolean field

d) enter quotation marks as literals as part of what is to be searched on

e) search the raw HTML as well, e.g., <IMG SRC=“cactus” or <A HREF="/demon"

f) true boolean search terms

g) little button by each “hit” that when clicked evalulates link in current form to see if it would still correspond to the search term. Or do it on-the-fly for all hits on the page as the page is loading. So you know whether to use the cached version or the live version.

h) true boolean search terms


But seriously, I’d like to be able to tie it to Guido the fire wall and change the colors of the links I shouldn’t bother clicking because it will bump me into the “this page is not allowed per corporate policy” page.

Not to mention the results from other search engines which little to do with the original search.

I imagine that the Next Generation search engines would make ample use of both replicator and holodeck technology.

What AHunter3 said. Google is remarkably primitive in it’s search language. Many other, older search engines (formerly) had lots of nice goodies. I especially miss wildcards. I do a lot of searching for part numbers, of which a prefix is important and the rest isn’t so much. Looking for 714N0316* would be a big help. Other advanced regular expression operators are absolutely necessary too, “near” is a classic. (Google ranks some using “nearness”, but it doesn’t alway know which terms I really want to be “near”.)

I have a lot of ideas about how to clean up Google bombing and other Bad Things, but I don’t give out ideas like that for free anymore.

Forget AI. It’s still stuck in the 1950s. It’s going to be a while…

Sadly, even before the IPO Google had already started to ignore it’s “Don’t be evil.” motto, so I think it’s peaked as a company.

**I’d like a reliable way to search for songs… **when you only know a snippet of the tune and none of the words.

Describing the song is a major user-interface problem. Ideally I’d like to hum the tune and have the search engine analyse what I hummed, but it would also be good to input various kinds of musical noatation.

I saw something like this once but it didn’t seem to work very well. You put in a series of letters describing how the tune went up and down, but it wasn’t very precise.

I’d also like a better picture finder, that takes into account the content of the picture. I’d like to be able to upload a picture and say things like, ‘Find pictures that match or complement this one in colour’ or ‘Find pictures that have the same people’ or ‘Find pictures that only have rabbits standing up’. :slight_smile:

Next generation search engine development is basically concerned with contex and meaning.

Current search engines pretty much only do character string matching, and if those character strings don’t appear, you don’t get it. The Semantic web development looks to encase those character strings with meaning, and search for meaning.

For example if you type “Koko the monkey” today it will look for sites with those words. But since actually Koko is an ape, not a monkey you might not get the best and most scientific sites, because they don’t use the word monkey. But a semantic search will realize that Monkey and ape or gorrila are interchangable in the context of the search and return a more complete list of better sites.

Also web crawlers are getting much better, at searching deep web databases that arn’t available to surface web searches such as Google and Yahoo. The crawlers are designed to know where the databases are and search them. They arn’t all that good yet, however, and typically only have a few of the deep web resources in thier world. The ultimate goal is to have a personal web agent/bot. You could look for a search on the effects of second-hand smoke, but only if it has numbers, only if it is in a peer-reviewed paper, and only in the last 5 years. Then the agent would go on it’s way scanning through the thousands of deep-web databases, knowing enough to start at medical research databases, and only return exactly what you asked for. As much of the development on the semantic web is being supported by universities, and you can see how that last example would make research vastly more efficient, the web agents are being developed simultaneously, to make that happen. But there is much work to be done.

And the button you press to launch the search would read “Make It So!” … or possibly “Engage, maximum warp!” And all pop-up ads would be automatically deleted and replaced with pictures of naked Troi.

Both Google & Yahoo have toolbars for Internet Exploder that block pop-ups, and MS has finally added pop-up blocking with Service Pack2 for WindowsXP. Of course, you could always start using a real browser like Firefox or Opera, and never have to worry about IE security problems or pop-ups ever again.


That’s a pretty good idea of what’s coming next, at least in the short term.

Nobody mentioned Dipsie? The name is silly, but then again, so is google. IIRC, it’s been about to come online for about a year now.