Does Google Have Search Fear?

May 16, 2022

I can hear the Googlers at an search engine optimization conference saying this:

Our recent investments in search are designed to provide a better experience for our users. Our engineers are always seeking interesting, new, and useful ways to make the world’s information more accessible.

What these code words mean to me is:

Yep, the ancient Larry and Sergey thing. Not working. Oh, my goodness. What are we going to do? Buy Neeva, Kagi, Seekr, and Wecript? Let’s let Alphabet invest and we can learn and maybe earn before more people figure out our results are not as good as Bing and DuckDuckGo’s.

Even Slashdot is running items which make clear that Google and search do not warrant the title of “search giant.”

image

Source: Slashdot at https://bit.ly/3PkBOGt

I crafted this imaginary dialog when I read “This Germany-based AI Startup is Developing the Next Enterprise Search Engine Fueled by NLP and Open-Source.” That write up said:

Deepset, a German startup, is working to add to Natural Language Processing by integrating a language awareness layer into the business tech stack, allowing users to access and interact with data using language. Its flagship product, Haystack, is an open-source NLP framework that enables developers to create pipelines for a variety of search use-cases.

But here’s the snappy part of the article:

The Haystack-based NLP is typically implemented over a text database like Elasticsearch or Amazon’s OpenSearch branch and then connects directly with the end-user application through a REST API. It already has thousands of users and over 100 contributors. It uses transformer models to let developers create a variety of applications, such as production-ready question answering (QA), semantic document search, and summarization. The company has also introduced Deepset Cloud, an end-to-end platform for integrating customized and high-performing NLP-powered search systems into your application.

In theory, this is an open source, cloud centric super app, a meta play, a roll up of what’s needed to make finding information sort of work.

The kicker in the story is this statement:

The Berlin-based company has raised $14M in Series A funding led by GV, Alphabet’s venture capital arm.

Yep, the Google is investing. Why? Check that which applies:

(  ) Its own innovation engines are the equivalent of a Ford Pinto racing a Tesla Model S Plaid? Google search is no longer the world’s largest Web site?

(  ) Amazon gets more product searches than Google does?

( ) Users are starting to complain about how Google ignores what users key in the search box?

( ) Large sites are not being spidered in a comprehensive or timely manner?

( ) All of the above.

Stephen E Arnold, May 16, 2022

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