Monday, August 18, 2008

Search engines War

Google's boasts of more than 45% of the market share in the search engine business , followed by yahoo and then MSN. It would be a suicidal for anybody to even think of challenging the google's market share, least to say, without a proper strategy backed by huge capital and resources.

But will google carry on its legacy till eons ... ? A question best left for the time to answer. Does immense popularity of google makes it the unquestionable leader in the search engine wars. Well, at this point of time it does. A head on collision with google to grab the market share of the search engine segment should eventually be kept in shelf for the time or say years to come.

In marketing management's etymology, several Attack strategies have been identified. And the prominent ones among those can be broadly distinguished under : Frontal, flank, encirclement, bypass, and guerilla attacks.

Frontal attack on Google search engines would be catastrophically devastating, given the higher probability of the side with greater resources winning such collision. At least in Search engines and the resources allocated for its development, we can be quite sure of the numero uno position of Google. A better search algorithm than Google should be the only reason for any company to opt for Frontal attack on Google, but this however would be followed with mega promotional campaigns and high success rates of visible results.

Encirclement attack again is more similar or less different than the Frontal attack and it makes sense when the challenger commands superior resources over its rival and certainly to the willingness and the strategy backing the attacking company to divert resources for the specific campaign till the target breaks down. Again coming back to Google, this certainly can't be the best or rather say an intelligent design.

Bypass attacks is a sort of indirect assault strategy of bypassing the enemy altogether. Google started its search engine campaign much after Yahoo or the MS, but they had bypassed both Yahoo and the MS by providing the most reliable search engine with better technological features, when both the software giants (Yahoo & MS ) were busy foraying into other segments of Internet, such as mail and other internet services. Quite contrary is the fact that Google has a substantial chunk in the email users share.
So, by-passing Google at the technological front can be the option provided Yahoo, MSN and the other market followers.

Flank attack, is all about identifying the Achille's heel of the enemy and directing attacks precisely over those weak flanks. The basic idea behind any search engines is to provide useful search results. It's no doubt that, Google has the best search engine algorith till date. However, there are room for improvements - till we find the satisfying definition for "Perfection". To me perfection, is a relative concept. And things in this world are perfect at least in their own context for every moment of existence. The perfection of "XYZ" can be the perfection which "PQR" had perfected long back. So, there is this element of time that makes perfection a relatively obtrusive term and so do I find it with, Google, Yahoo or anyone else. Not that, I have seen better search engines than Google, but my expectations from search engines of the near future, at least gives me points to say, Google and all the creations in Earth has room for improvement.

Well, I know you might have 'googled' numerous times for a certain Keyword ( topic )just to be returned with thousands of web pages, only a handful of which would be actually helpful to you.

Now, after every search engines.... who's going to read and verify those millions of search results... Now will you call that search engine an effective one... which gives you results which you and neither google would have no idea about. Google certainly doesn't have the idea of your needs.. thats the whole reason why you get spams after spams...with Google glorifying those results right at the top: " 1,22,988 results in 0.4 seconds ".

I would rather be interested in 10 helpful results in 1 ( make it 2 ) second. Times below 1 seconds are beyond the perceivable limits of human beings. Google, I hope can cut out the rudimentary figures they so much boast of.

I dont get the essence of even telling the people about the millions of results that I have on my hand now. Now, I doubt, if anyone has every crossed at least 10th page of the search result listings.

You did? You must be an Alien then. And this article is solely for the poor lazy earthlings that want everything at the click of buttons and in one instance at least. Well, that should certainly make us efficiency hungry creatures. So much for good.

Now, consider these two cases.

1) A search engine that gives you only 2 pages of search results ( which makes it to 20 listings, 10 in each), with a guarantee that it would be highly useful for your every search queries.

2) A search engine that gives you millions of page results but with no guarantee that the first 2 pages or at least the next 5 pages would suffice our requirements. You certainly can't expect guarantee along with the spammers.

So, which one would you go for ... I don't think I need to hint out that the sole philosophy of search engines should be to make your search easier; not of giving thousands of unwanted results.

Ya, you guessed it. All the search engines lack the most important element - " Human intelligence and its power to contextualize".
Imagine a search engine, with a spider that indexes only those pages, which any human being( intelligible off course) should be able to filter it as "relevant" - ultimately saving you time and keeping you bay from the impossible dream of " YOU ARE FREE TO SEARCH THE THOUSANDS OF PAGES WE JUST SERVED - courtesy Google, yahoo, msn and gang. "

Jim Wales, Cofounder of Wikipedia, envisages to create an open source search engine called Wikia that uses human deduction as well as a machine driven algorithm. Wales puts forth that humans are better at weeding out spam search results and so it sounds so convincingly true. Another such example is of "ChaCha", founded by MIT research scientist Scott A.Jones and has been quite successful in Korea, where Google has made few inroads. ChaCha's human guided searches offers a smaller set of focused and relevant results, with the help of its 25,000 part and full time employees. Investing in such ventures can be daunting, since it demands intensive human resource. However, with the outsourcing business hitting high in 3rd world economies, a serious player can certainly find labours at much cost effective rates.

A serious search engine war seems inevitable, with so many things left for improvisation.



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