We’ve been especially focused on enterprise search this year. In addition to Lynda’s blog and our normal conference coverage, we have released two extensive reports, one authored by Lynda and one by Stephen Arnold, and Udi Manber VP Engineering, Search, Google, keynoted our San Francisco conference. We are continuing this focus at our upcoming Boston conference where Prabhakar Raghavan, Head of Yahoo! Research, will provide the opening keynote.

Prabhakar’s talk is titled “The Future of Search”. The reason I added “enterprise” to the title of the post, is that Prabhakar’s talk will be of special interest to enterprises because of its emphasis on complex data in databases and marked-up content repositories. Prabhakar’s background includes stints CTO at Verity and IBM so enterprise (or, if you prefer “behind-the-firewall”, or “intranet”) search requirements are not new to him.

Here is the description from the conference site:

Web content continues to grow, change, diversify, and fragment. Meanwhile, users are performing increasingly sophisticated and open-ended tasks online, connecting broadly to content and services across the Web. The simple search result page of blue text links needs to evolve to address these complex tasks, and this evolution includes a more formal understanding of user’s intent, and a deeper model of how particular pieces of Web content can help. Structured databases power a significant fraction of Web pages, and microformats and other forms of markup have been proposed as mechanisms to expose this structure. But uptake of these mechanisms remains limited, as content owners await the killer application for this technology. That application is search. If search engines can make deep use of structured information about content, provided through open standards, then search engines and site owners can together bring consumers a far richer experience. We are entering a period of massive change to enable search engines to handle more complex content. Prabhakar Raghavan, head of Yahoo! Research, will address the future of search: how search engines are becoming more sophisticated, what the breakthrough point will be for semantics on the Web and what this means for developers and publishers.

Join us on December 3rd at 8:30am at the Boston Westin Copley. Register.

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