The future of search rides on relevance

CNET covers the Cyberposium event about search, concluding that its future relies on relevance. This much we know. The key point is that the challenge here is not a technical one.

"(Personalization) isn’t an area where the technology isn’t ready, where
there’s a need for a lot of innovation," said Ask Jeeves’ Lahiri. "The
question is, are people willing to give up (more information) to get a
better search engine back in return?"

And so it becomes an issue of trust. Are the risks of providing deep personal information worth the benefits of personalized search results? Personal information can be gleaned from tracking our behavior online (through cookies etc), but that won’t give the level of detail required, it won’t explain motives which are so key to providing the information people want. Therefore personal information must be given willingly and explicitly. Security is a key component of how search firms earn that trust, so we can expect movements and partnerships in that direction.

The big question is – do you trust Google? If not, what would make you trust it?