U Rank – Microsoft’s Social Search Experimental Site

Out now from Microsoft Research is U Rank, an experiment that allows people to move results around, as well as share them with friends and add comments to listings. Want to play? Sigh. You have to register using a Windows Live ID. Why not just make it open for anyone to use on a cookie basis? The cookie could allow short term changes to be remembered, while logging in could be done for those who wanted to protect their edits in the long term. Anyway, once in, you can do a search and wait, and wait, and wait to get back results. Perhaps the response time will improve. When they [...]

Microsoft Seeks To Bring Collaboration To Search

Microsoft has experimentally introduced "SearchTogether," which allows people to use a browser plug-in (IE7 only) to literally collaborate on search. You need a Windows Live ID and Messenger, but you can apparently use any search engine you like. Here's a tutorial and some screens. I haven't used it so I can't report on the experience. Conceptually, however, I could imagine that in many use cases (e.g., Travel and Local Search) this could be highly valuable as an option. Microsoft Messenger has had collaboration capabilities around local search and Live Maps for some time, but they're littl [...]

Search 4.0: Social Search Engines & Putting Humans Back In Search

Previously I've covered what I dubbed Search 3.0, how search engines have evolved toward blending vertical or specialized results into "regular" web listings. Today, the step beyond that: Search 4.0, how personal, social and human-edited data can be used to refine search results. The Search Evolution So Far Before going ahead, let me summarize what I covered in my past article, in terms of how search engines have changed over time to create and rank the results you get when doing a search: Search 1.0 (1996): Pages ranked using "on-the-page" criteria Search 2.0 (1998): Pages [...]

SMX Social: Just What Did Calacanis Say About SEO & More Recaps

At our SMX Social Media Marketing conference this week, we had a great panel on the future of human powered search. Jason Calacanis of Mahalo, Jimmy Wales of Wikia Search, and Steven Marder of Eurekster all took part. Jason had some remarks on SEO that set off the usual wave of upset. But as I commented to those who weren't at the panel, by the end of Q&A, Jason -- along with Jimmy Wales and Seven Marder -- were agreeing about the usefulness of SEO. It's all down to the definitions. Below you can hear Jason's presentation yourself, then you can hear the Q&A portion that covered search [...]

SMX Social: Mahalo To Do Microformats, Search Wikia Adds Alpha 0.2 Features & More

News from the first day of our SMX Social Media Marketing conference. Mahalo is now doing microformats as a way to enhance its search results and allow local businesses to be added to your address book. Wikia Search has gone to "Alpha 0.2" with new features. And other conference coverage, below. Jason Calacanis of Mahalo, Jimmy Wales of Wikia Search, and Steven Marder of Eurekster all spoke at the end of the day on our Social Search: The Human Challengers panel. Lisa Barone provides live blogging coverage in her Keynote - Social Search: The Human Challengers post at the Bruce Cla [...]

Danny Sullivan Tackles Search 3.0 And 4.0 In SMX West Keynote

I thought I'd gracefully retired from the Danny Sullivan Keynote Review business. Comparing Danny to Edward R. Murrow, assessing how the attendance stretched the room capacity... ahh, they were good times. Then I awoke to find myself in a large hall at the Santa Clara Conference Center. It wasn't a dream! Turns out I was only a bit sleepy because that O'Hare blizzard delay caused me to land in San Jose at 3:00 a.m. on this day, February 26th, 2008. It was now 9:01 a.m., and a fresh Sullivan keynote was beginning at SMX West. There I was, sitting over to the right-hand side of the room (D [...]

Google’s Marissa Mayer On Social Search / Search 4.0

VentureBeat has a nice Q&A with Google's Marissa Mayer on how the search engine is considering using social data to improve its search results -- what I've described as "Search 4.0" as a generational jump in my Search 3.0 article from earlier this year. Some highlights below: Social search is hard, in that many searches are sensitive, so letting people in your network know what you are looking for raises serious privacy issues.   Google might try doing more with labeling or tagging results as a way to implement social search. Marissa talked about the existing Google Co [...]

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