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Will 2010 Be The Year That Search Becomes Irrelevant?

Now that the wave of 2009/end of the decade retrospectives are over, it’s time for predictions for the year to come. Wired co-founding editor and current Federated Media CEO John Battelle has a particularly thought-provoking set. Among the most intriguing: that in 2010, web search won’t quite die off, but it will deteriorate such that people “question search’s validity as a service.”
From John Battelle’s Searchblog:

Traditional search results will deteriorate to the point that folks begin to question search’s validity as a service. This does not mean people will stop using search – habits do not die that quickly and search will continue to have significant utility. But we are in the midst of a significant transition in search – as I’ve recently written, we are asking far more complicated questions of search, ones that search is simply not set up to answer. This incongruence is not really fair to blame on search, but so it goes. Add to this the problem of an entire ecosystem set up to game AdWords, and the table is set. Google will take most of the brand blame, but also do the most to address the issue in 2010.

At that, Battelle predicts that Bing will overtake Yahoo and become the #2 search engine behind Google.

Battelle isn’t the first person to call the future of search into question, nor will he be the last. Writing about Rupert Murdoch’s threat to block Google from indexing News Corporation sites, Dallas Mavericks owner and generally colorful character Mark Cuban made the claim that Twitter is overtaking search:

“TWITTER IS SURPASSING GOOGLE as a destination for finding information on breaking and recent news of all types. Whats more, TWITTER POSSES NO THREAT to any destination news site. 140 characters does not a story make. Find it on twitter, link to a story on say, FoxNews and everyone is happy. The same concept applies to Facebook Links. Twitter and Facebook are not news destinations that can compete with traditional news sources. Google is. Rupert loves him some twitter. Google, not so much.”

Of course, Google signed a search deal with Twitter in late October, so Google must love itself some Twitter as well. Whether that burnishes its search or wrecks it is as much a question of personal taste as of futurology.

Here are John Battelle’s Predictions for 2010, as well as his track record for previous predictions going back to 2004. (Not bad at all!)

(h/t Data Mining. image via SEOYourBlog)

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