The Noisy Channel


Is Search Really 90% Solved?

September 7th, 2008 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

Props to Michael Arrington for calling out this snippet in an interview with Marissa Mayer, Google Vice President of Search Product and User Experience on the occasion of Google’s 10th birthday:

Search is an unsolved problem. We have a good 90 to 95% of the solution, but there is a lot to go in the remaining 10%.

I agree with Michael that search isn’t even close to being solved yet. I’ve criticized the way many web search start-ups–and even the giants Yahoo and Microsoft–are going about trying to dethrone Google through incremental improvements or technologies that don’t address any need that Google does not already adequately (if not optimally) address. But there is no lack of open problems in search for those ambitious enough to tackle them.

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Daniel Tunkelang // Sep 10, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Michael Arrington: Marissa Mayer Clarifies: Search Is Only 10% Done, Not 90%”. Official Google Blog post is here.

  • 2 Information Sharing: A U.S. Government Mandate | The Noisy Channel // Oct 6, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    […] about the challenges of getting the right information to the right people. Anyone who thinks that search is 90% solved should think about problems like […]

  • 3 Adam Bossy // Feb 5, 2009 at 1:02 pm


    I’d like to read the “open problems” post, but the link is broken. It looks like you switched the way WordPress write URLs halfway through (I’ve been guilty of doing the same). What is the original post?

    PS. I got here from “Matt Cutts: Google Still Has Big Ideas.”

  • 4 Daniel Tunkelang // Feb 5, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Apologies–the links should work now.

Clicky Web Analytics