Fagan Finder > Searching > Predictions for 2003

Predictions In the first week of 2002, I made predictions for that year. Most of mine were at least somewhat correct. I was quite wrong, however, in predicting the demise of AltaVista. Now, in the first week of 2003, I will make new predictions for the coming year.

The Competition Heats Up
In 2002, new search engines Gigablast and Openfind arrived. Ancient AltaVista made many new improvements and is hardly out of the game. Inktomi also made improvments, and was bought by Yahoo! in the last week of the year. This event very much changes the nature of the search engine industry and makes my predictions riskier. But here goes. Yahoo! will use a combination of Yahoo's directory, Google and Inktomi's search results, and Overture's ads. MSN Search will drop Inktomi, and use WiseNut, and they may or may not buy LookSmart (the owner of WiseNut). Alternately, MSN may use AlltheWeb instead. IF I am wrong, and Yahoo decides to drop Google in favour of Inktomi, then Google will roll out some features that are more portal like (i.e., in competition with Yahoo), perhaps my.google.com, customized news, who knows what.
Both Gigablast and Openfind show primise; they positions now are just like Teoma and WiseNut's were last year. Openfind needs to make significant improvements, and Gigablast needs to increase the size of its index before either of them can enter the mainstream.
Last year I predicted that Google would go public. They didn't, and I extend my prediction to 2003, strengthed by an article in Forbes which mentinons a first-quarter IPO. Froogle, the shopping search engine Google introduced in December, needs much improvement, which will come, making Froogle very successful at least in popularity (if not in profit, which they have yet to figure out).
AlltheWeb will occupy much the same position as it does today, unless they get MSN Search as a client. By the end of 2003, I still see Google and AlltheWeb as being the big players.

Last year I predicted that many more weblogs would be written and read. The popularity of blogs has exploded, and I don't see any end to the explosion in the coming year. Blogs will get more acclaim from the professional world (e.g. journalists), and will have more influence. If you don't know someone now who blogs, you will by the end of the year. There will also be more photoblogs, audioblogs, and videoblogs, but text-based blogs will still dominate.
Update AOL is planning something with blogs, most likely a blog publishing system for their member homepages.

General State of the Internet
The internet (which is moving into the lower-case-i stage) will face increasing privacy issues and increasing piracy issues. More will move from free to fee, and the US Government will heavily watch what they put on the web in terms of national security. The dreams of XML and the Semantic Web will still be dreams for the majority of the internet.

This page was last updated on January 3, 2003. Submit changes here.
No predictions of mine have been added or modified since I first wrote them.

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