For a peek at Louis Monier philosophy toward search, see what he said at last year's Web 2.0 conference:
Under one percent of the public use any of the advanced features that many search engines offer. Louis Monier, director of eBay's Advanced Technology Group, said that enhancements to search cannot depend on training users to do more. Instead, he suggested, the metaphor is that you bring them the dish that they want but you also bring other dishes that they may be interested in.Search should be simple. Search should be easy. Search should be helpful.
[via Matt Marshall and Danny Sullivan]
Update: John Battelle interviews Louis, confirms he is going to Google, and has some great details on why. Some excerpts:
I'm very tempted to play with radically new stuff: satellites images, machine translation, ways to extract knowledge from giant bodies of data ... who knows what else? And frankly, I'm dying to peek under the hood and see the infrastructure [Google has] created. For someone like me, it's the ultimate Christmas toy.The potential of the data, creating knowledge from noise, that is what excites Louis about Google.
I find the most interesting problem in search is to think of it as a dialog rather than a one-shot thing.
I'm fascinated by the many ways we can extract real knowledge from billions of tidbits, whether they'd be Web pages, queries, links, reviews, social networks... We have a few tools today, mostly statistics to isolate repeating data from the noise, but I think we will eventually go much further. What we need are generic pattern recognition engines.