- A search engine should be more helpful than merely delivering a large list of documents to a user. We are building prototypes that give users a better search experience by allowing users to more effectively navigate results and have a dialog with the search engine to find what theyre looking for.
For example, let's say I'm trying to find discussions some of the topics covered at Foo Camp. I might start by searching for "foo camp". Not satisfied with those results, I might change it to "foo camp blogs". That doesn't get me what I want. I try "foo camp web feeds". And so on. I'm repeatedly refining my search query, trying to find the information I need.
But current search engines ignore this stream of related queries, this dialogue, instead treating each search as independent. There is an opportunity for techniques that focus explicitly on this kind of refinement process, using all the information to help you find what you need more efficiently and reliably. Personalized search is one of these techniques.
[Thanks, Mary Jo Foley, for pointing out quote on the MSR page]