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VP of Yahoo! Labs Talks the Future of Search at the University of Liverpool

yahooHit Search was on hand to hear Ricardo Baeza-Yates talk about the future of search at the University of Liverpool.

Baeza-Yates is Vice President of Yahoo! Labs. His work is primarily focussed on web search and data mining, with a focus on distributed web search, query log mining and web user engagement. He was at the University of Liverpool’s computer science department to host a seminar on distributed web search engines.

During the talk, Baeza-Yates presented a body of research, conducted over many years, on improving web search and moving toward distributed architecture.

More people are online than ever before, with more to come in the future. What do the vast majority have in common?

They search.

Web based search engines are the primary way to access content online. Currently, search engines are very large, centralised systems based on replicated clusters. But soon, Baeza-Yates explains, these centralised systems will become less effective against the data query load.

There are currently more than 180 million websites and more than hundreds of billions of pages indexed. In addition, there are more than 2 billion users making hundreds of millions of search queries every day. In order to cope with this amount of search activity, Baeza-Yates champions the distributed web retrieval system and Hit Search was on hand to hear the man himself talk through the challenges of this system and the future of search.

One interesting point raised was the potential monetisation of search.

The world’s favourite search engines are currently free to use, recovering money through advertising alone. But what does the future hold? Could search users one day be asked to pay for their search?


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