Yahoo’s Mindset, currently in Beta and part of Yahoo’s research labs, shows us where the future of search may be.
Through a slider bar, Yahoo Mindset allows searches to choose their mix of commercial search results vs. informational search results. Try running a search for “san diego hotels” and slide the bar around to see how this affects rankings.
On on end, you’re presented with sites specifically allowing you to search for and book hotel rooms. On the “researching” end of the spectrum you get visitor guides and hotel recommendations from the local newspaper, and tourism related Websites.
The future of search results may therefore be to fold: commercial & informational, with two sets of completely different Websites being listed in the Top 10, for the exact same keyword, depending on how they relate to what the searcher wants.