Google did revolutionize the Internet search 12 years ago by changing how search works in the Internet. Before google the search companies like altavista and excite did use simple algorithms to search Internet. They believed the more often a search word is in a web page the more important is the result. Google invented the page rank (named after Lawrence E. Page - one founder of google). Page rank looks how often a page is linked from other pages and how important these pages are linking to target page. If AOL has a link to my page then my page would be more relevant in search pages, than if my page would be linked from some unknown person page.
Another break through was how far words are separated in a page. If i would have searched for real estate, google would give higher relevance when a page would have "real estate" in the text than "it is for real, that free estate..." (you get the point).
Google is trying all the time to keep the algorithm secret and to change it that nobody can fake the results.
However since google has ads on their search results, this does not work well anymore.
More and more people are annoyed with search results because these don't give always the right answer on the first page and the ads are disturbing.
Google is aware of losing searches on their webpage and are improving a lot. Latest change is the instant results which extends our search time because we spend more time on looking on the results than finishing our typing.
Why do I think search will decline?
Try to remember the time before internet. When did we research something and how?
We only researched things in libraries when we needed answers from experts or if none of our family or friends could answer our questions.
Internet search is/was important because there is so much information in the Internet and totally unorganized that the only way to find something is through search.
However the human nature is not search, it is to ask. If the internet would have an institution which could answer all our questions, we would not need to search.
Searching is a waste of time, we try to avoid whenever necessary.
Would you rather search your reading glasses or ask your spouse where they are.
Facebook understands this concept and offers Facebook ask.
But this alone is not the answer. I am pretty sure there will be soon a service out there which works only by asking and as a result we will get a few answers back.
Sorted by relevance (answer from expert), by trust (answers from friends) and by location (answers which considers geographic and social relevance).
You are now thinking about ask.com, but ask.com is still only a search engine, too many results from sources we don't trust.
Ask and answer should only give a handful of results we can trust.
You ask for best book for your Spouse, google and ask.com will give you many answers which don't help because you need to screen them.
A new service I have in mind would give these answers:
Expert answer will be "one woman, one book, many answers" (btw I love this book)
Friends answer will "Harley more than a bike" because my friends know my spouse very well and what she would like.
Location answer would "Florida geek ladies on the road" because her social page shows a lot interests in tech stuff and she likes to travel. Which the system knows by looking at my social profile.
Today each Facebook user has in average 130 friends, if we connect everybody through up to 5 levels, one person could know 37 billion people if so many would exist and have a FB account.
But with this approach by only going 5 levels in connection we would have everybody on this planet asked the same question and would get the best answers.
Of course if we would ask everything we want to search we would at the same time answers billions of questions each day which is not possible.
But if we would have a big DB with all social and expert information we could generate pretty good results.
The big difference between searching and asking is that search will give you millions of results you hope you can rely on.
Asking will give you only a few answers and you know you can trust because the answers are either from friends, experts or tailored to your profile.
Asking and answers will replace most of the searches we do, not all. Like 20 years back, when we went to library if we needed to search and research, but asked our friends for most of our questions.
The only difference will be that today we can ask all our friends at same time and get better results.
We should watch out Facebook and see how far their asking will go.
Maybe in a few years we ask in FB about google and get as answer that google used to be in 2010 most visit website, and now it is the biggest online library not more or less.
- Posted using My iPad