“Search” is not the entirety of what is intended by artist Mekhitar Garabedian part of a public art exhibition called “Track” in Ghent, Belgium. The backdrop is historic 15th century Butcher’s Hall details @ bit.ly/searchanddestroy
I love the cool instagram photo above by @keraman that seems to emphasize the out-sized importance of search – even though taken out of context – and that in itself says much about relevance and fragmentation of intent and interest online.
The idea that search can effectively answer 2 or 3 word queries for everyone, in the exact way the searcher intended – has always been absurd. But search engines are getting pretty good at it, all things considered.
Google recently announced that they were going to provide entity search answers on the SERPs in the form of “Knowledge Graph” – so called “Things Not Strings” to answer factual queries with Wikipedia excerpts and other featured knowledge properties.
This means that anyone who had previously focused on providing that type of content will see less traffic since there’s no need to leave Google once you have that answer. This makes some sense if it’s a completely non-commercial query (forgetting for the moment that some sites built a business model around page-views and advertising.)
Google has always answered with multiple types of content when a query included “Video” or “photo” or shown news results when the query appears to reference news or shopping results when the query appears to be consumer oriented.
But this marks the first time that Google has presented a barrier to moving the searcher along to a destination and intends to keep them on the SERP’s when they search “Things not Strings” and see “Knowledge” representing those queries on the right side of the page.