Over the course of several different projects I've been working on, I've come across a couple of techniques to remove spam and increase relevance for queries that don't seem to be employed by the big 3 (ask/yahoo/google).
Does anyone have a feeling for whether any of the major players are interested in technology acquisitions at this stage and whether they consider serp quality a valuable technology? I must say that I've been disappointed with the seeming lack of investment in search result improvements since florida.
And finally - are there any rumours circulating as to the value of previous s.e. acquisitions - such as kaltix, outride, etc?
My general feeling is that Google is seriously interested in SERP quality, and that they would be interested in any useful technology. Getting them to take the time to talk to you might be difficult, though. I would expect Yahoo to be more closed-minded.