Goal oriented searching?

I was just wondering if there’s a way to search according to a particular goal. Since we “check for updates” to news items, activity on social networks etc. “read up on” topics in wikipedia, blogs etc. “look for” products, instead of just “searching” by keywords and trying to pick clever ones to get decent results wouldn’t it be nice to express our intention?

http://agents.media.mit.edu/projects/goose/ sounds like a proposal to do something like that, but doesn’t seem to have taken off, and at a glance seems overly complicated with some natural language processing functionality. Since you probably never want to “read about” something on ebay or “shop” on wikipedia is there a simple approach? Could it be that most sites serve a particular goal and would fit into a neat and small set of goals which would be easy to state? I guess something like http://rollyo.com might already have user created searches which could effectively do this, but it seems a bit too manual.

How about adding metadata to a page to indicate it’s purpose? Like keyword metadata maybe this would just be abused by SEOs until it is worthless. Hmm …

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