Microsoft have announced their biggest update to Live Search since its debut. Unfortunately whilst everyone seems to be talking about it, noone is raving about it; whilst it is accepted as an important piece of news, noone seems to think it is a particularly exciting bit of news. The general belief seems to be that the search wars are over (at least in the U.S. and the U.K) and that Google has won. Personally I live in the hope that the existing players manage to take back some of Google’s excessive portion of the search market, and that there will be serious new entrants in the market.
I hate the fact that Google currently deals with over 60% of all searches, and feel ashamed every time I find myself typing in ‘www.google.com’ in a zombie-like trance; no single organisation should have such powerful influence over access to information on the web. When Google entered the search market they raised the bar of expections for search engines, and as yet (many year later) the other search engines have failed to succesfully reply. That is not to say they won’t, but rather that it is going to take something truely new and innovative. The new search engines at the moment seem to just be rehashing old ideas, with some being a repackaging of a directory and others going for the conversational English that failed in the original Ask Jeeves.
As more users start creating on the web, rather than just consuming, there are many new sources of information for a search engine to tap into; rich, formated information. The successful search engines are likely to be those that find the best ways of making use of this new information.