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Ronnie Deboer
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So, out of nowhere, MC Hammer has decided to get into the search business. I don’t know why. Clearly his destiny is to be a major star of film and screen. But apparently Hammer feels that Google and Bing have dominated the search landscape long enough, and he has decided that WireDoo (still pre-Beta) will better serve users looking for what he callrelationship search.

Don’t dismiss this too lightly, though, because the general idea of relationship search deserves to be addressed, even if only to be dismissed. What Hammer is actually talking about isn’t going deeper into the information being searched for; he’s really talking about google play review and a level of abstraction above the keywords used in the search. He wants to connect the subject of your keywords to a broader context of related ideas and information. When you search the name of a car, he wants you to get results containing mileage, local availability and pricing, not just sites that sell the car.

Unfortunately, the context that links different concepts usually takes place in a human mind, not a search algorithm. It’s hard for me to swallow that you could make the types of connections between ideas he’s talking about without human intervention, which kind of defeats the purpose of having a search engine to begin with.

Google probably isn’t sweating this new competition. They’re probably more concerned by Facebook’s continued expansion. Besides, the appeal of Google or Bing is that they don’t use that type of abstraction in their algorithms. They’re simply serving search results that are related to keywords based on linking patterns and text on the page. It’s up to the user to adjust his search query, or do additional searches, if they want to collect information on multiple ideas that may be related.

Maybe someday search will involve more contextualized recommendation, but we’re nowhere near that level yet. But who knows? Parachute Pants could prove me wrong. I might be eating my words and searching with WireDoo within a year.

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