Google owns a monopoly on the search market and I personally think that monopolies suck. Since 80% of all search traffic travels through Google, it is somewhat like them controlling toll plazas on all of the major highways. Imagine driving down I-95 and having to pay tolls every three miles. Don’t forget that Google is not a search engine as much as they are a money-making corporation. They want money first and foremost. They may try to present themselves as being fair and impartial, but that is simply public relations and propaganda.
To bring down a giant monopoly corporation like Google takes another giant; one that could create a better search experience.
What is search?
Imagine search as the biggest referral network on the planet. Before the Internet, when you wanted something you accessed Yellow Pages or you asked friends and family who they used. That was the precursor to the search engine. Yellow Pages had a bunch of ads, paid for by businesses, and they collected them and provided them for “free” to people by handing out their books. The end user didn’t have to pay for the information, but the advertisers did.
Your other choice back then was to ask friends or family for referrals. Who shot your wedding? Who remodeled your bathroom? Where did you eat that was so amazing? These questions would open up the opportunity for them to give you advice on where to get the products and services you wanted.
Google came along and took that model and tied algorithms to it. They essentially created a computerized way to aggregate information and present it for free to their end users. It didn’t take them long to figure out that people wanted to rank well in their search engine and thus AdWords came along and Google can seem to find big enough rakes for all the money that is now coming in to them.
Why Search Sucks
Google searches suck though. Why? Because since Google is basically referring searchers to businesses without any sort of vetting or screening, they are referring some pretty terrible businesses and websites to people. They are answering the questions like “who shot your wedding” with completely terrible, non-professional photographers. They answer “who was your plumber,” with uninsured, untested companies who are causing thousands of dollars worth of damage to peoples’ homes and businesses.
You see, computer algorithms can NEVER and will never replace human reviews and experience. No scientist can write a mathematical algorithm that will accurately convey a client’s experience.
Search Doesn’t Have to Suck
Alas, however, I may be wrong about computers not being able to measure, track, review, vet and suggest companies however. What if a company had information on which companies were good, bad and ugly? What if a company had a way to measure how often a photographer’s wedding photos were shared and who shared them and where that photographer was located? Wouldn’t it make for better referrals if results were given based on users experiences, company’s reputations, and social shares, likes and markers? Dun-dun-dun!!! Facebook.
Facebook has this information and ability and you know what, they may be building a search engine as I write. God I hope so. Facebook is the only company that I know that has the clout and know how to knock off the big guy.