The future search interfaces are not going to be the way they are today. According to many industry experts, they will focus on actually answering the questions posed by the users. We can already see the beginning of this in the form of Google's recipe search and Bing's travel search products. However, analysts are telling that these are just the beginning of the bigger shifts in how we are going to interact with larger databases on the internet.
Twin-Structured Search Engines
The future belongs to twin-structured search engines. The first area of these will try to directly answer the questions that are posed to them. Some of the examples for this kind of search queries are: Which movie is being shown in a theater nearer to you? What is the temperature at a particular region? What is the current exchange rate of dollar and pound? etc. This is a simple extension of the search technology which is already in place. But, the utility of these kind of search queries is generally limited where user decision is necessary.
The second area of a twin-structured search engine deals with questions where the user needs to decide based on the available information. This is where semantic web comes into picture.
Semantic Web and Schema.org
Semantic web is an old idea with the basic presumption that all the data on the web will be understandable by the machines. Semantic web is based on semantic data where the data is organized in a way that can be meaningfully interpreted without any human intervention. To expedite the evolution of semantic web, Google, Bing, and Yahoo! have recently launched a protocol called schema.org. The main objective of schema.org is to markup the whole web in a way that facilitates semantic web. In this new kind of web, a search engine will be able to grab any piece of data from any website, comprehend it, and later use it to give better answers to the user. So, if you type in 'best mid-size car', the results page will show various models of compact cars, ratings by various reviewers, news related to the different compact car models, related videos and image galleries.
Schema.org will open a new range of exciting possibilities for consumers. The most important of them being extremely well presented information on any search query, option to access original information sources, and greater elucidation of the subject when required. In short it will work like an uber-Wikipedia. In future, the promoters of Schema.org hope to make it a one stop resource for webmasters looking to markup their pages to help search engines in better understanding the content of their websites.
As the major search engines in the world now have gigantic data stores, they are in a unique position to completely transform the way we interact with the world's information. Marking up the data may not help in improving the rankings of websites immediately. But, webmasters need to keep it in their mind that they need to markup the whole data in the websites sooner rather than later.
About The Author: Claudia is a writer/blogger. She loves writing, travelling and reading books. She contributes in Timothy Day