Beyond 10 Blue Links: Seven Challenges

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Speaker: Ricardo Baeza-Yates, Yahoo! Research, Barcelona


The classic Web search experience, consisting of returning ``ten blue links" in response to a short user query, is powered today by a mature technology where progress has become incremental and expensive. Furthermore, the ``ten blue links" represent only a fractional part of the total Web search experience: today, what users expect and receive in response to a ``web query'' is a plethora of multi-media information extracted and synthesized from numerous sources on and off the Web. In consequence, we argue that the major technical challenges in Web search are now driven by the quest to satisfy the implicit and explicit needs of users, continuing a long evolutionary trend in commercial Web search engines going back more than fifteen years, moving  from relevant document selection towards satisfactory task completion. We identify seven of these challenges and discuss them in some detail. This is joint work with Andrei Broder and Yoelle Maarek.


Ricardo Baeza-Yates is VP of Yahoo! Research for Europe, Middle East and Latin America, leading the labs at Barcelona, Spain and Santiago, Chile, as well as supervising the newer lab in Haifa, Israel. Until 2005 he was the director of the Center for Web Research at the Department of Computer  Science of the Engineering School of the University of Chile; and ICREA Professor at the Department of Technology of the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. He is co-author of the best-selling book Modern Information Retrieval, published in 1999 by Addison-Wesley with a second edition in 2011, as well as co-author of the 2nd edition of the Handbook of Algorithms and Data Structures, Addison-Wesley, 1991; and co-editor of Information Retrieval: Algorithms and Data Structures, Prentice-Hall, 1992, among more than 200 other publications. He has received the Organization of American States award for young researchers in exact sciences (1993) and several national awards in Chile. In 2003 he was the first computer scientist to be elected to the Chilean Academy of Sciences. During 2007 he was awarded the Graham Medal for innovation in computing, given by the University of Waterloo to distinguished ex-alumni. In 2009 he was awarded the Latin American distinction for contributions to CS in the region and became an ACM Fellow, followed in 2011 by an IEEE Fellowship.