How Social Helps Answer some of the Problems of Search

What search results would you anticipate to see if you searched for ‘eli’ on Google?

Believe it or not, this is actually a very big problem for search engines to try and figure out. The problem is that one word searches do not generally target a unique enough topic to effectively narrow search results.

Am I looking for baby name meanings? Do I want to find someone in particular named Eli? Is there a Bible passage I want to find? Who knows?

The problem is a lack of deeper understanding for what the searcher is looking for. So how do you go about finding out? Ultimately one word searches will always be a hit or miss chance to properly answer a query, but one area search engines can improve upon is in better knowing topics of interest for the search user.

Enter in, the Social era of Search

There is a serious ambiguity problem with a lot of search results. Some have a hard time properly explaining to a search engine what it is they are looking for. And Google has a solution to this problem, or at least a good idea how to better narrow the results for those pesky vague keywords it normally would have trouble determining what to display.

By tracking the history of a unique searchers activity, a search engine can better gage what it is they are most likely looking for in situations where the query just isn’t specific enough to narrow the results list to exactly what the user is looking for. But in order to do this, the user must be logged in.

This is where Social Media becomes a search engines best friend – by tracking the history of a users activity with a social network that they interact with, over time the user will give you enough data to better understand there main topics of interest.