What’s Next in Search?

Written by: Jason Bayless | August 29, 2016
Search Engines: Important Online Tools
Today, search engines dominate the way most online visitors locate useful information. The Internet contains well over a billion pages of information, so many that an individual could never visit all of them during a single lifetime. With a multitude of competing websites working to attract their attention, many people rely upon automated search engines to help them discern relevant URLs relating to topics that interest them.

As the World Wide Web expanded significantly in scope, the number of potential results cataloged by most search engines became quite impressive indeed. Depending upon the search term used, for instance, a visitor using a popular engine such as Google or Baidu could receive links to literally thousands of pages of material. Site owners prefer to rank very close to the top of this type of list, since most searchers will never consult the massive number of URLs outside the scope of the first one or two pages of results.

New Forms of Search

As the scope of pages online grows ever larger, businesses have maintained a strong interest in analyzing search engine changes. Modifications in the way an individual search engine ranks sites matters to both companies and consumers, for instance. Even seemingly minor changes to search algorithms translate into potentially significant SEO listing results.

For example, when Google changed its emphasis just a few years ago to raise the ranking accorded to sites loading well in mobile devices, the transformation caused may well-established websites to overhaul their design. Company executives realized that maintaining sites capable of displaying well in smart phones, tablets and laptops would lead to higher overall search engine rankings. Now, site designers struggle with massive competition by seeking to predict the next wave in search engine technology more accurately.

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence in Search

Most experts agree that the next generation of search engines will likely place a premium upon recent developments in the Artificial Intelligence field. In the past, automated technology sometimes processed websites very mechanically. Boring lists of geographic place names might rank just as highly as well-developed, carefully crafted essays and informative travelogues.

As computer intelligence gradually expands, the possibility arises for the search engines of tomorrow to rely upon a more robust, intellectually rigorous technology to distinguish one website from another. Content relaying valuable information as opposed to mechanical listings of terms designed to enhance SEO placement may soon gain greater recognition by influential engines. This development bodes well for most online visitors.

Voice And Visual Searches: Limiting Resources

Yet another promising type of innovation relates to the growing utility of both voice command search and visual search. These processes rely upon increasingly popular technologies. For instance, recent advances in speech recognition have raised the prospect of search engines using verbal keyword inputs more extensively.

One disturbing consequence of either voice or visual technology as a basis for search might involve the production of only one or two top-ranked listings. People searching by written keywords can review extensive lower ranked listings at their leisure; this process becomes far less practical when conducing a voice or visual search.

No Crystal Balls

Predicting the future of online search with assurance defies even experts. The rapid advance of technology during recent decades has demonstrated one enduring truth: the Internet often trends in surprising, previously unforeseen directions. In this venue, expect the unexpected!

Ripe with innovation and contributions from creative, unorthodox thinkers, the online medium encourages experimentation. In some instances, as Facebook and similar social media platforms amply demonstrate, novel approaches become mainstream at a dizzying pace. Facebook, a company started in a college dormitory early in 2004 just over a decade later claims active, regular participation by well over a hundred million people. The next big breakthrough in search engine technology might quickly rocket to widespread acceptance.