Google Cannot Fit through Some Information Doors

May 17, 2009

Is Google to chubby to fit through some information doors? That’s the question this article on the Web site sparked in my mind. The story “New search engines aspire to supplement Google” here provided me with a chuckle whilst sitting on the marge of the duck pond in Harrod’s Creek. The writer, John D. Sutter, said:

We may be coming upon a new era for the Internet search.

Yep, Google defines search, but that’s not new. What’s new is the survival method for start ups in a Google-centric world. And the story scampers through some assumptions  that warrant a bit of back up, but I don’t have the energy to point out that the four systems highlighted in this story are in varying stages of development. For example, I am not sure what the financial status of Twine, Hakia, and Searchme are at this time. Kosmix has, I heard last week in San Francisco, some cash in its ATM account. The others? I’m not sure. Scoopier is too new. TweetMeme is one of a large number of Twitter-centric tools, and I have  tough time reading some logos because of the obligatory use of faded blue type.

There’s the obligatory paragraph about Wolfram Alpha, which one pundit described as a search system for resident of Niche Ville, not a search system for the masses living in Chicago or Houston.

But the home run comment for me was this one:

Google, of course, remains the search king. Recent efforts to revolutionize Web searching have failed to unseat the dominant California company, which captures nearly 64 percent of U.S. online searches, according to comScore.

In my opinion, this is a pretty important comment for these reasons:

  • Google has an “as is” presence and market share; other search vendors must adapt to the Google ecosystem
  • The notion of supplementing Google is the only way open for most search vendors. Google is the search environment, so “surfing on Google” is a survival strategy and one that some venture firms may believe possible
  • Google can’t fit through some information doors because the information doors are often “within” the Google ecosystem. Facebook and Twitter to some extent are “outside” of the Google ecosystem, but the GOOG seems to be muddling forward to “wrap” services around these data bunions.

I knew there was a reason to get my news from multiple sources and not rely on CNN for what I need in the way of information about search and content processing. Honk.

Stephen Arnold, May 17, 2009


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