Persistent Search: The Next Search Battleground?


Bill Burnham thinks persistent search is the next big battleground in which search engine wars will take place.

He starts by defining persistent search:

Simply put, Persistent Search allows users to enter a search query just once and then receive constant, near real-time, automatic updates whenever new content that meets their search criteria is published on the web. For example, let’s say you are a stock trader and you want to know whenever one of the stocks in your portfolio is mentioned on the web.

And how could this change the strategy and profitability of the search business?

Persistent Search presents search companies with the opportunity to build rich, persistent relationships with their users. The search engine that captures a user’s persistent searches will not only have regular, automatic exposure to that user, but they will be able to build a much better understanding of the unique needs and interests of that user which should theoretically enable them to sell more relevant ads and services at higher prices.

Is Burnham on to something here? If so, how do SEO's need to prepare for persistent search marketing?

via Jeff Nolan


Web 2.0 Opportunity?

RSS Aggregator + AJAX + VC?

SE's are going to have to

SE's are going to have to find a much better way of dealing with blog spam before something like this can come close to becoming "the next big thing." i still see a lot of blog spam on the first page on various blog search engines, and i think persistent search has many of the same problems to deal with that blog search does.

I have to agree with enndot.

I have to agree with enndot. This has RSS written all over it

idle musings

let’s say you are a stock trader

Let's say I'm not. Let's say 99% of my searches are one time shots and that I want instant info, not information spread over time. Let's pretend we've already had a perfect solution to that already for the last 10 years and really don't need anything else.

If you want information spread over time, try an rss feed. Which is probably roughly the type of technology stock traders are already using.

Actually, I think the next big thing in search is going to come from one of two areas. First is niche search engines. Plenty of opportunity for the small retailer to nibble at Google if you will. And the second possibility is inroads into advertising.

Pluck it

Pluck has been doing this for a while... they call them "perches."


You're right, and there are a bunch of other places as well. It was an attempt at subtle mocking ;-)

Not heard it called that before but..

With BoardTracker you can (for a long time already) get alerts by email and IM based on predefined search terms, plus you can view on our site your matches/alerts ordered by date.. also we have rss feeds for searches (which you can order by date or relevancy) and browsable categories so you can create your own custom feeds to add to your rss reader.. plenty of other nifty features too.

Hard to keep up with the latest buzzwords though.. ;)

"Push Technology" - Isn't that what this "innovation" is about?

Push technology (versus pull/query/etc) has been on the minds of developers for several years. Nothing new here. Just the implementation of a distribution model. Heaven forbid we should not be plugged in 24/7/365 1/4. We might miss something if we're not constantly plugged in . . . like miss having a life.

I'll subscribe to stuff like this when it can be downloaded directly to my brain, running in a separate process, so as not to interfere with enjoying the day, interacting with real faces and voices, etc.

"What! Webwork, you mean you didn't know?!"

"I'll know when either they come knocking at my door or I see the fireball approaching. Until then, F-off, I've got some roses to smell."

Beattie's already knocked one up...

Using Yahoo! Developer tools (of course ;))

The average user don´t need

The average user don´t need persistent search. I personally can´t think of only one reason why I would need it. So I think it is not the next big thing.

>>The average user don´t

>>The average user don´t need persistent search.

that's true -- today. just like at one point it was true that the average person didnt need a search engine, or a computer, or a cell phone. but as information changes, and as the rate of new innovation and cultural change accelerates, will this always be the case?

i wonder if automation is the answer here. rss readers IMHO dont do a good enough job of filtering noise; i still experience the information overload problems. ping-oriented search is IMO too susceptible to spam, it's gotten better but still very prevalent and if more attention goes there i have to think spammers will up their game and game it even more. personally i'd be more inclined to grab the RSS feed of a trusted source's delicious linkroll, and if persistent search or the whole RSS thing gets big enough, i wonder if that will create demand for more human-mediated information flow.

Google Alert

isn't this pretty close to what Google Alert has been doing for years?


it is. and before google alert, we had other alerting services. this is just alerting and agent services under a different name, in particular because pluck pushes the persistent search angle to distinguish themselves. ho hum. we've had alerting services for years without them being the next big thing, but add some web 2.0 sauce, and bam! now you're rockin' :)

or maybe it's just me feeling old

Big Whoop

Amazon is still telling me to buy books by Kevin Trudeu (was dumb enough to buy one back in the day when I was 18) and Target thinks I have friggin rugrat just because I had to attend a baby shower once. How long is this persitance? I don't like some system to assume things about me for very long.

I have Google Alerts and RSS. What else do I need?

Annoying Persistence

Very rarely do I look for one topic all the time, and there are already ways to do that.

When things like Amazon keep annoying me about things that were only a passing curiosity then it becomes less interesting to look for anything just to avoid being annoyed.

Yahoo News RSS + Bloglines

I have this set up for a couple of search terms already using Yahoo News Search RSS and Bloglines for an aggregator. Works great. It's not real time. I assume it would be easy enough to do something like it for web search although it seems like a huge resource drain.

Doesn't Google get their knickers in a twist about automated queries?


This is a hard one to call. The major failing of the Internet is *there is no persistency*. Companies try to do it with email newsletters and RSS, but usually half the stuff sucks because you're not really interested in it.

There's so many teens on the Internet, and they are sooo diferent from you guys. I could see a teen tracking bands, tickets, or boyfriends across the Internet, lol. If Community based sites and local search keeps quadrupling, there's a lot of information/posts that people are going to want to track.

It's all in *how the thing is marketed*. Granted it's already being done in various other formats

...and a lot of sites will block the bot for bandwidth savings. Tough call.

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