Is Search Really 90% Solved?

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.

By Daniel Tunkelang

High-Class Consultant.

4 replies on “Is Search Really 90% Solved?”


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.”


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