What are the best search experiences on the web?

8 months ago from , Senior Designer at Microsoft

I'm doing some research into search patterns wanting to find out a couple of things:

  1. What are the most effective patterns?
  2. Is there anything new and interesting happening?

For instance: I think Gmail's search interaction is really strong. A great blend of predictive results, recent results, ability to customize the search, and real-time feedback.

So I ask you: What's the good and the beautiful in search patterns out there?