Search Engine Land posted the second part of Gordon Hotchkiss’ interview with Mark Cramer, CEO of Surf Canyon, entitled “Search As Conversation.” The first part of the interview, posted on August 6th, focused primarily on Surf Canyon’s product and technology. The second part also includes a broader discussion about the industry as a whole and the increasingly dynamic nature of search. According to Cramer:
For the past 40 years since the inception of search, the way it’s worked is this: user enters a query, that query is matched to an index of documents, tremendous activity is deployed to try to determine the relevancies of those different documents, and a search result set is produced. But that search result set is static. There’s an order to those results. They go from 1 to 10 and then 11 to 50 million, and that order does not change. It’s stateless. What we have been doing for the past few years is essentially applying state to the search page in order to make the results dynamic. And if you consider “dynamic” to be something resembling a conversation in the sense that the search result page is actually responding to every input from the user to alter the content on the fly, then I think that’s an interesting way of looking at searching.