Yahoo Senior VP of Search Speaks at Wharton School of Business

A few weeks ago, Jeff Weiner, Yahoo’s Senior VP Search and Marketplace, gave a talk at the Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia. This new article in the Knowledge@Wharton newsletter: One Size Fits One: Tailoring Technology to Consumer Needs, provides a summary and a few quotes from Weiner’s presentation.

Here are a three passages from the article:

+ The future, he [Jeff Weiner] predicted, won’t belong to either mass or micro players, but rather to consumers who will increasingly tailor their information gathering to their needs and tastes. “The future is going to be ‘my media,'” he said.

+ “Today, tens of millions of searches are unique queries,” Weiner pointed out. “They are only performed once.” That suggests that users aren’t just typing in a common word and hoping for pay dirt. Instead, they are devising complex queries to narrow their results.

+ Weiner, as one would expect, paints an idyllic picture of the web, but he conceded that the medium, despite its advances, has its problems. Some individuals — Weiner called them “black hats” — have begun to try to game the prominent search engines, looking for ways to trick them into landing on websites that may not be popular or pertinent to an individual’s search. Yahoo! is experimenting with automated ways to tackle this problem. In the meantime, the best way to fight back is “tapping into all of us and forming self-policing communities,” he said. “That’s eBay’s secret sauce — the community of people who take the time to rate the sellers.”

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