Many people cannot imagine a day without Google as their primary search engine. After all, what would we do without our daily Google Doodle? However, developers are attempting to envision this new world. Many researchers are developing new ways to connect users to the ever-expanding immensity that is the Internet.
Researchers at the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology in Finland have developed a new interface that creates a next-level search called SciNet, which utilizes Interactive Intent Modeling. This type of search allows users to add keywords to focus in on what they really want to find. The parent company, Etsimo, is now looking for investors so they can make this new search interface available to the rest of the world.
New Way to Explore Results
SciNet attempts more human involvement in the search process. Instead of allowing Google or Bing algorithms to choose results, SciNet invites the user to choose collections of keywords that guide his or her results.
SciNet calls this interface IntentRadar. Instead of having a search bar and results, SciNet displays results as a radar-like cloud of keywords ranked by relativity. Users drag keywords closer to the center or farther away to create their personalized searches. This “new” method reminds us a bit of Google’s Wonder Wheel, which was turned into the Contextual Targeting tool.
SciNet will more effectively utilize touchscreen technology while lessening the importance of a keyboard. Users with ill-defined searches will have an easier time crafting their own decision about their results.
“We want to rely on users to make the decision and steer the search rather than only trying to build a search engine that would try to come up with a perfect answer on the first shot,” said Finnish researcher Tuukka Ruotsalo.
New Way to Optimize
Depending on how quickly search interfaces like SciNet catch on, this could mean a complete redesign of the way SEO works. Currently, websites need to provide SEO information that will boost them in rankings on search engines like Google. This is because Google uses this information to guess how well your site will fit the needs of their users.
With SciNet, websites would need to provide more tailored information for the user and less for the search interface itself. This will mean your site will be judged more on the content than on its rankings. While it will still be very important to tailor your information, the playing field will become flatter, allowing smaller sites and more specific results to be displayed to the user.
“Etsimo is data-centric, transparent, un-biased and non-evil. . . . We have no secret ranking algorithms, money doesn’t influence the order of the results and we don’t track your behavior,” reads the company’s website.
This no-tricks way of searching seems to be the next step in researching online. Will your organization be ready for the switch?
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