Google Universal Search $25,000 query in Jeopardy

Marissa Mayer's Universal Search assertions have a lot more riding on them now: $25,000!Is Google Universal Search in Jeopardy?

Marissa Mayer's Universal Search assertions have a lot more riding on them now: $25,000!

Is Google Universal Search in Jeopardy?

"The best answer is still the best answer," Mayer confidently proclaimed upon unleashing Universal Search to the world just two weeks ago. While Mayer always says the right Googley things, she does not always seem to be in synch with what is really going on, at Google.

Mayer proclaimed she has no more need for the "old model of search" to assure:

We want to help you find the very best answer, even if you don't know where to look.

Mayer may be the Google VP Search Products & User Experience, but her VP Engineering colleagues are a bit more sanguine on the ability, or not, of Google to surface the "very best answer."

I heard Adam Bosworth at the NYC Googleplex discuss how search at Google is in fact a "fuzzy problem," as I report and analyze in Google on Search: ‘Natural Language works when it isn’t’

Imprecision is better than nothing and searchers "don't know if we are right," Bosworth believes. We make educated guesses and people are pretty forgiving, he happily concluded.

REALLY? With $25,000 on the line, "people" will undoubtedly not be so "forgiving" if Google can not surface the "very best answer."

dm52907j.JPG

We may very well soon find out: The Jeopardy Google Daily Challenge Sweepstakes debuts June 4:

The Jeopardy Google Daily Challenge Sweepstakes features an extra clue from one of the categories in that day's Jeopardy. Visit Jeopardy online each day from June 4th to July 13th, to play a new clue and you'll have a chance to win one of the daily $100 giveaways. By entering every day, you'll increase your chances of winning $5,000, $10,000, or the $25,000 Grand Prize!

Remember, you must enter the correct response for your sweepstakes entry to be valid. Not sure what it is? That's where the powerful Google Search engine comes in.

I heard Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the Personal Democracy Forum earlier this month on his vision for iGoogle to "understand" how people think, as I report and anlayze in How Google will get inside YOUR head:

With the personal version of Google, iGoogle, the computer will get to know you so well, it will say good morning, you are late this morning, but you are always late; It will almost understand how you think and mimic behavior.

With $25,000 riding on the iGoogle Jeopardy gadget, however, "people" will be hoping Google will know a lot more than simply what time to wake up in the morning.

dm52907j2.JPG

SEE: Why Facebook is scarier than Google and Beware: Google is NOT your privacy friend and Why Google CEO is ‘harmless’