Why there hasn’t been a serious threat to Google is beyond me. I mean seriously, there is no real competition. Bing and Yahoo do try with all of their internet hearts, but they just can’t compete when it comes to search. It’s like nobody even tries to rank well with them. Everybody hangs on every algorithm update Google makes hoping to stay ahead of the game (including us).
Sure, there are small search engines that have popped up and attempted to capitalize on the small misfortunes of Google that have made people angry. But, just like with celebrities, people are easy to forgive and forget. Also, these misfortunes are not a big enough stone that takes out the giant between the eyes.
There is, however, one stone big enough. It has been around for awhile now and it is laying there waiting for somebody to load the sling. Google has noticed it and have been attempting to make preventative actions. They’ve struggled to chip away at this stone to reduce the impending blow and it’s surprising no one has attempted to pick it up.
Its simple. Internet search with a social integration.
True Social Search
Google noticed how to take searching to a new level. A way to improve their services and provide even more relevant search results. They implemented Google+. A social network to take on Facebook and Twitter with the goal of integrating interactions on Google+ with search results. The problem? Well, nobody uses Google+ like they use other Social Networks. The main reason people have a Google+ account is because they are required to register a GMail address for their new Android based phone (a cheap way to get users). But users never go on it to share and interact, except SEM reps looking to build Author Rank.
Another way Google has tried to bolster their social network is by combining YouTube Comments with Google+. Which is another cheap way to get social interaction and grow the network. You have to hand it to them though, they are trying everything in the book and using every resource.
Twitter and Facebook on the other hand, have a sling big enough to hold the stone. They have users. Users that interact socially on a daily basis and active users are the only way to throw the stone. I’m shocked either one of them haven’t done it yet. After all, Google entered their territory.
As much as people retweet, like, share and follow on Twitter and Facebook it would be easy to implement a social and local search off these social networks interactions.
Google in recent years have improved they crawling and algorithm to take into account for trending and breaking news. Searching for a breaking news story has been easier to do with relevant results. But, with a search engine built by Facebook or Twitter, breaking news can be even brought to the user before they even search it because their friends are sharing, retweeting or liking it (I know, Facebook is already trying this in a small way).
Between Facebook or Twitter, there is one that has a better chance of succeeding at taking on Google with a Search Engine. In my opinion it’s Facebook. They have the larger user base and a better handle on spam than Twitter.
Users log on to Facebook on a daily/hourly basis. For a lot of people, it’s the first website that pops up. Getting Facebookers to start using the site for searching would be easy.
The key problem would be to do it any way that is simple for the user to get to (without an extra click) and not intrusive to their current experience. But it can be done. I believe this is already on Facebook’s radar and if they constructed this, it would turn the internet on it’s head.
Bold Prediction: Facebook will have a Search Engine with in 1-2 years.
What are your thoughts? Would you use Twitter or Facebook as a Search Engine?