Greg Linden has a nice post comparing the strategies of MSN, Yahoo, and Google regarding how each of them plans to innovate in search. He quotes an MSN developer who suggests that MSN will attempt to extract more information from the user on each query:
Saleel Sathe (Lead PM, MSN Search) argues that searchers will have to change their behavior and learn how to use search better:
"Search engines have shot themselves in the foot by providing a search box, where users provide relatively little information," Sathe said.
"The average search query is 2.3 words... but if you asked a librarian for information you would not just give them 2.3 words -- you would give them the opportunity to give you the rich detailed answer you want."
Yahoo, on the other hand, belives in social search, according to the head of their Technology Development Group for Search, Bradley Horowitz:
"What we think is the next major breakthrough is social search. It basically democratises the notion of relevance and lets ordinary users decide what's important for themselves and other users," said Horowitz.
And Google's strategy, of course, is to use all the information under the sun to deliver targeted, personalized SERPS.
Linden sees problems with all three strategies. Which one seems most viable to you? Or how about the other search engines trying to break into the space -- Wink, Gigablast, Exalead, Ask or any of the growing number of others?