My fourth grade computer class was pretty much the best thing about 1997. We spent half of the class immersed in "educational" games like Zoombinis (how awesome was Zoombinis?!) and we spent the other half "surfing" the "Net."
It's pretty difficult to remember our digital "surfing" days. The days of objective observation, of anonymity, of disconnection, of -- let's face it -- pretty terrible content. It's so hard to remember because now, 16 years later, the way we seek information online has fundamentally shifted. And the engines on which we seek it have shifted too.
We no longer spend hours scanning the web to see what we can dig up. We search. And we're not just searching for general information. We're searching to get something done: to buy a book, to find the nearest gas station, to remember the name of a 1997 children's computer game. Bowing to our behavior, Google and other engines are refining their algorithms to locate and serve up the content best-suited to our action-oriented needs. They've gotten pretty good at it. But they're about to get a whole lot better. Whether it's by integrating social signals, location data or past behavior into our search queries, the future of search is going to be a pretty exciting space for both users and brands.
As consumers, we'll be able to find the content we want the minute we need it. As marketers, we'll be able to understand and serve our customers like never before. Want to learn more about where search is headed? My colleagues at Location3 Media just published a pretty fascinating whitepaper called "The Future of Search." It details (as you might have gleaned) some exciting developments happening in search and the consequences of those developments.
What do you think about all this? Are you psyched about the personalized updates search engines like Google are making? Do you think it's creepy? Speak your piece below.