I want to discuss is the impact of the Yahoo-Microsoft search partnership on the future of the search industry. Reading Yahoo committed seppuku today got me thinking… Jason Calacanis states that Yahoo committing suicide is good news for emerging competitors of Google:
And so ends the second chapter of search and begins the third.
- Chapter one was inception up until the launch of Google.
- Chapter two was Google’s rise and Yahoo’s death.
- Chapter three will be the two-horse race of Microsoft and Google, with the inevitable emergence of a third and fourth player.
Yahoo’s Suicide Opens Doors for Smaller Players
With Twitter revamping their home page and putting search front and center, Bing integrating Twitter in their search, Facebook owning the information of over 250 million users across the world and Google developing Google Friend Connect to compete, that 3rd and 4th player won’t be looking on the sideline; they will be major players.
In fact, using the Yahoo-Microsoft news as an example, I was thinking that we are getting flooded with information more than ever. Google’s rise to prominence was due to its ability to filter and sort information. However, it is now becoming easier to publish ourselves and accordingly, more and more people are doing it. Moreover, social media creates more lines of communication, hence the rise in the level of the flood.
Google is no longer relevant
Searching on Google is no longer enough. When I heard about the Yahoo-Microsoft deal, I wanted to read more than the facts of the deal. I wanted to read insightful opinions, its impact on the search industry, etc. It took me 2 days, reading multiple websites and tweets, before I found Calacanis’ insightful post thanks to a RT (retweet) in a Facebook Status.
Since I have been using Twitter, filtering information has become a priority. I unfollowed a lot of “gurus” in the industry and “power users” because they just post too much. I decided that the most important information will reach me through RT anyway, thus following them is unecessary.
Social Search is filtering by people instead of robots
Semantic search has been a hot topic lately but I think that social search or social filtering of information might be where the money is at. By social search, I don’t mean finding people online, rather I mean how information can be filtered and sorted through online social interactions. I am picky about the people I follow on Twitter because of the pertinence of the information they deliver.
In a way, I have developped my own search engine by choosing the people I decide to consume their information. Titles of the web page or articles is instrumental in my decision to click but the distributor of the content is perhaps even more important.
It only makes sense, doesn’t it? That people filter and sort information rather than robots? Of course, I am aware that algorythm or “robots” would still be needed to sort the social information but atleast, it is social based rather than link and keyword based. We have always resorted to referrals and recommendations from other people or from people we trust. Why stop now?
Social Search is not (only) Twitter
Thus, whoever can develop the best social search engine will be the new Google. Twitter seems to have a head start but I don’t believe they have the firepower to get it done. Social search is more than just tweets, albeit tweets are currently a great ressource, other forms of social interactions such as comments, ratings, sharing, etc come into play. I just wonder if Google will be the new Google or if somebody else will.
With the flood of information, I am becoming more reliant on people feeding me information than Google. I believe that semantic search is necessary but social search is indispensible.
Perhaps “social search” is the wrong term. Any suggestions?
How do I Know I can Trust you?
What do you think is the role of trust in the social search engine? How can it be measured or calculated? Can it be calculated?
photo by: Clearly Ambiguous
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