Digital Media Insights for Business Owners

The future of Search Engines

In my opinion search engines as they are today they have a very inappropriate model. People on the web use search engines since there is no better way to find the content they are looking for, but the fact that they are presented with a long list (sometimes millions of web pages) of results makes it ineffective and plain useless. Based on my experience as a consultant I can see that people typically search many times for things, when in reality they should need to search only once. And there is this “funny” joke that goes like this:

“Where is the best place to hide a dead body? In the second page of Google results.”

Unknown source

I believe that the future of search engines should be related to hiperlinks. For example if I am using a search engine like Google to find the “cheapest HP laptop with WIFI” then I shouldn’t have to repeat my search several times and find a good combination of words to finally get to what I was looking for. The alternative approach should be categories of links. If I type: laptops” then I should be prompted with options: 1. information 2. interaction 3. transaction. Let’s say I want to buy a laptop, so I choose 3. transaction. Then 1. Manufacturers, 2. Prices, 3. Options (and so forth). By the time that I have drilled down to what I wanted I have saved time and effort.

The second most important recommendation that I have for search engines in the future is “Don’t use clicking” With the use of AJAX and the advances in CSS I think that the web in the future should be browsed by “onMouseOver” events. Clicking takes time. Some people out there would say that the event onMouseOver makes navigation very difficult since sometimes you move the mouse without wanting to visit something. We learned before to use the mouse to click in objects, the next generations should learn not to move the mouse unless you want to move somewhere else.

The future is very difficult to predict in any industry, in the internet industry the far future is 1 year from today. The only thing that is predictable is that it needs to get faster. Faster browsing, faster server responses, faster downloading and faster communications.

Now, in 2022, it is clear that mobile devices like the iPhone are here to stay. And rules are different for devices that require touch and those that actually have a mouse cursor.

So my recommendation for search engines moving forward is:

  1. Provide 30 results from the get go. People are ok with scrolling – so just load things with Ajax as necessary.
  2. Let people drill down results if necessary. Pretty much Google Suggest but on steroids. If someone clicks on something then allow them the opportunity to continue further refinement of the query.

Alex A. Centeno . Internet marketing consultant.

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