There's no question that location is playing an increasingly great role in how people obtain and share information. We recently looked at where location fits into the SEO equation.
Google has its own location-sharing service Google Latitude that has been somewhat overshadowed lately by services like FourSquare, Gowalla, and of course Twitter and Facebook, but Google recently said Latitude has 3 million active users, and this year it's grown 30% per month each month so far. Features in Google's newly redesigned SERPs also show potential for integration of location information. Google has also invested in a location-based gaming platform in SCVNGR, that would theoretically rival Foursquare.
The rise of social media, location sharing, and mobile apps continues to pave the way for what might be considered a revolution in search. People have a lot more access points in general these days.
As the description for the O'Reilly book Search Patterns says, "Search is among the most disruptive innovations of our time. It influences what we buy and where we go. It shapes how we learn and what we believe."
WebProNews spoke with co-author Peter Morville at SXSW a while back about design patterns in search:
People are not only continuing to find more ways to search, but developers are rapidly creating more ways to deliver information that people find appealing. That's where these search design patterns fit in.
"At the surface level, you could think of the search interface as being just the box. Very kind of plain vanilla," Morville tells WebProNews. "But the fact is that there's so much we can do with search and discovery from the interfaces to the ways that we just think about the broader system that really includes not just the interface, but the search engine, and the people, the content, the meta data, and even the creators of that content...trying to kind of include them in how we think about this broad...what I think of as a complex, adaptive system called search."
Morville says the future of search has basically been the same for decades: artificial intelligence with "a dash" of information visualization. But there are many possible futures of search, and we're seeing interesting new things come about all the time. Mobile is fueling innovation in a way that perhaps hasn't been seen before.