The Journey of Search Part III: Narrowing Search

Part II discussed how Google's link-based search ranking system revolutionized SEO from the get-go. It was a considerable improvement over the keyword-centric system that dominated the search engines before Google entered the picture. Of course, the problem-solution cycle comes full circle again in Search 2.0. People found out that there were too much information.

Say you wanted to look for news on the Duchess of Cambridge. If you looked for related news during the era of Search 2.0, you would’ve been bombarded with numerous results, including non-news content. Search engine users in today's world have neither the time nor need to go through this endless stream of information. They want their results narrowed down.

Enter Search 3.0, the part of the journey where, as Danny Sullivan describes, vertical search was introduced. This system allowed search engines to return more relevant results than before, and are categorized into different items: news, images, videos, books, and so on. You can find this on almost every search engine today, normally below the search bar.

The implication of Search 3.0 is more accurate search results than ever. People looking for news on the Duchess of Cambridge will receive links to news articles as a separate collective segment. In Google, this segment is shown as "News for X," with X being the search keyword. No more going through an endless list of relevant and irrelevant results for the modern netizen.

Slowly but surely, search engines are growing more "human." That's coming up on Part IV.


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