google needs some soylent green
I like this point that Anil makes today, rounding up some recent complaints about the quality of Google's search index...
What is worth noting now is that, half a decade after so many people began unquestioningly modifying their sites to serve Google's needs better, there may start to be enough critical mass for the pendulum to swing back to earlier days, when Google modified its workings to suit the web's existing behaviors.
In a word: social. Now, I'm no search expert (by any stretch of the imagination), but if you think about what's fundamentally different about the web today v. ten or even five years ago it's the explosion of content creation, sharing and discovery that's happening through networks of friends. So adapting to today's web will mean tweaking search algorithms to take advantage of available social sharing (links + graph), and building more mechanisms to capture social data. I don't think this is just about using social data to personalize your search experience, but using social data as a fundamental way to improve results for everyone, and make the search experience better. Inject some people into that PageRank.