The biggest gripe most people have with Google AdWords is that niche specific products must compete for market share with general merchandise using the broad match feature. Overture places exact matches above broad match ads.
Its seems Overture is going another step further to make its product more user friendly. Later this month Overture will allow seperate bidding for its Content Match product. While implementing this change they will also remove the 20% discount they initially offered and are expanding the product throughout the Yahoo! network.
Recently the media has picked up on a story about Vivismo clustering technology. While I think the categorization of search results may be a great feature, most of the time the key feature is quality of results.
If people search for things and can not find them they learn to search smarter. By using tools which visualize search extensions we will begin to notice patterns and thus become smarter searchers.
I think SEE ALSO (Teoma, AltaVista, and AllTheWeb all have this feature) is a great feature for search engines to have, but the visualization of the search will not take off any time in the near future, the quality of results still needs to be the focus of innovation.
Some software companies charge for a service I rarely think is worthwhile free, but sometimes it is fun to play with a search engine such as Kartoo. If companies want to spread their ideas and software they would be better off having it web based and free...so the idea is quick and easy to spread.
In the most recent issue of the Jimworld Gazette John Cokos states that he believes the recent Google algorithm shift may be due to the need to reinvent the algorithm wheel.
The PageRank patent is owned by Stanford. With that tie it may be hard for Google to go public without having to donate a large portion of future profits to the college. Some think Google is inventing an algorithm which replaces PageRank...With the recent changes this is rather plausible story, but only time will tell.
Time recently came out with a new article called Search And Destroy which I did not enjoy.
In my eyes it was apparent the writers knew nothing about search. Listed are a couple quotes which show what I am talking about.
"Should they be allowed to push the websites of their own businesses to the top of the stack? Could a search engine suppress the website of a political party with which its CEO disagreed?"
If it was know that this was happening people would quit using the search engine. Politics are frequently fed by greedy companies who can afford to waste money anyway...as noted on this very site yesterday. The largest drug companies have already started to control ads anyway.
"But when the competition gets stiff and Page has to answer to his shareholders, integrity may be a luxury Google can no longer afford."
I certainly think it will be hard to balance, but there is no way that going public will imediately cause them to loose all of their business ideals which made them a success.