One Size Search Doesn’t Fit All

With search becoming increasingly verticalized, I am seeing both the need and demonstration not just of searching within a specific domain, but also ranking results along multiple dimensions in that domain. For example, Indeed lets me search for positions with certain job titles, as well as identify how recently those jobs have been posted. Blinkx.tv has a great slider-bar feature that lets me shift between the importance of date and relevance in ranking my results. It even lets me toggle the sources of video content. Kayak has similar slider-bars allowing me to sort through flights easily by time-window.

But I (and mabye others?) want even more. As we become more sophisticated in what we are searching for, we should be able to toggle and sort though the dimensions of what is most important to us. For blog searches, sometimes I want to ensure that I read something with strong authority, sometimes I want to read something with the utmost timeliness, and sometimes I want to read something with highly dense mentions of a certain topic.

Google’s PageRank philosophy worked well in identifying the most relevant static pages. But as we are continuing to move towards the Incremental Web, perhaps the criteria for determining the best given search result is multidimensional rather than one-dimensional – and easily changeable by the user.

David Beisel

David Beisel is a co-founder and Partner at NextView Ventures. He has been focused on early stage Internet startups his entire career, both as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. As an investor in the digital media space, David was most recently a Vice President at Venrock and previously a Principal at Masthead Venture Partners. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, David co-founded Sombasa Media, an e-mail marketing company best known for its flagship product BargainDog. Sombasa was successfully acquired by About.com where David served as Vice President of Marketing. David holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and an AB in Economics, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Duke University. He also founded and leads the Boston Innovators Group, an organization which holds quarterly entrepreneur events drawing a thousand attendees.

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