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Marissa Mayer Clarifies: Search Is Only 10% Done, Not 90%

I spoke to Google’s Marissa Mayer at TechCrunch50 on Monday (a little after she we celebrated Google’s 10th birthday with cupcakes) and asked her about the search is “90-95%” solved story over the weekend. She said she’d be posting a clarification on the Google blog. That clarification just went up, here.

In the original article, published in the LA Times, Marissa says search is “90 to 95%” solved:

Search is an unsolved problem. We have a good 90 to 95% of the solution, but there is a lot to go in the remaining 10%. How do we monetize new forms of content as they come online such as video, maps and books. How do we help content providers transition their businesses online and build healthy businesses.

Today Marissa clarifies, suggesting that her real point is that the first 90% of the search problem is solved, but that was the easy part. The last 10% will actually be 90% of the real work, she says, and it will take decades or longer to complete it. She also compares search today to the fiields of biology and physics in the 1500s or 1600s.