How Deep Web Searching Could Change How We Use The Internet

from the not-just-a-little-bit... dept

Lots of people have been talking about building search engines that better search the “deep” or “dark” web – parts of the internet that aren’t currently readily accessible to most search engines. When Yahoo made their search-related announcements recently, everyone focused on the paid-inclusion part, missing the fact that much of what they were talking about was setting up better deep web searching. This Salon piece takes a much more thorough look at how deep web searching could change quite a bit. Right now, for instance, if you want to search on flight information, you probably won’t go to Google, but to Expedia or Travelocity or some such site. However, if Google (or a competitor) could also search those sites, then it becomes an end-run around their interface. Suddenly, their own interface and their own search engines become less important – they just become the data aggregator. At the same time, it would probably necessitate a change to how the typical search engine interface worked. If you did a search on “flights to NY” are you looking to book a flight, track a flight, or general information on the history of flights to NY? Search engines are, thus, going to need to become better at categorizing searches, and presenting information in a different way (something that Vivisimo has been working on a lot lately). All of this, though, could represent quite a shift for the way companies present info online, and (more importantly) how they make money off of information online. As the article points out, online publishers may face a situation similar to the recording industry if they continually try to resist this shift. It certainly will keep things interesting for a while.

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