’s Brian Proffitt predicts that the world of search is going to completely change and “as part of that sea change, today’s reactive Web-based searches are about to give way to proactive, geo-fenced answers that will pop up before you even frame the question.” With the rise of mobile computing, “contextual search” becomes more important. J Schwan, CEO of Solstice Mobile, describes the four aspects of contextual searching that all have to work together:

  • Where – “geo-fencing” – where you are makes a difference in the search results
  • Relevance – setting explicit preferences
  • Push – pushing data to users based on their context
  • Security and privacy – user’s data stays put

Other considerations for contextual searching:

  • tiny smartphone screens require that users get the right results near the top of the results screen
  • SEO is only effective if results are in the first few lines
  • Google Glass and the whispered iWatch will probably offer “less real estate” to display results

Stephen Abram picked up this story on his blog and asks the question – “If content finds you more and more . . . what is the role of libraries and librarians?”