Search Engine superiority is a big stakes game of one-upmanship that we won’t see the end of soon.
I think that when many of us discovered Google we figured that the search wars were over and we’d found our home. Of course we said this forgetting that we’d said the same thing years before when we met Yahoo! for the first time. And then we said it again when someone sent us a link to AltaVista. And then again when we clicked the Hotbot link from Wired.
I doubt that Google will be the final champion in the search game (at least not if they stick to current technology while others advance — hopefully they won’t).
For a review of the current state of Internet search, check out this CNET article called “Start-ups Seek Google’s Throne”. One site they don’t mention that is probably worth monitoring (although it is pre-launch as I’m typing this) is Quigo, a “deep web” search tool.
And of course, Search Engine Watch is a great place for general information on search and how it effects you and your site.