See the Wool Now?

june 20, 2006

I think people are starting to wake up to the fact that Google was damned cool, but now is becoming...stale. There are a lot of factors to this. Google's insistence on using algorithms for "best" results when indexing maybe coming around to bite them. People are seeing that the results returned by Google are now filled with useless spam -- and is in essence killing Google. Think about it, 98% or more of Google's revenue comes from the ads that they run next to their search results. What happens when the search engine is broke beyond belief and people stop using Google? Whamo, a lot of unhappy investors. What is worse is that their algorithms are broke. Someone was able to get 5 billion pages indexed by GoogleBot. They used some pretty dirty tactics to do it, but here's the kicker: GoogleBot happily indexed those 5 billion pages in less than three weeks! This explains why Google's search results are now poisoned by spam. And what is the market saying to all of this? Don't buy Google if you're in the market for the long term. Just look at "[C]ompanies like workstation manufacturer Apollo Computer, word processor maker Wang and spreadsheet software firm Lotus as examples of tech firms that investors erroneously thought would be immune to competition." And as much as I sometimes dispise Wall Street analysts, this guy has a point: "Google's throwing a lot of mud against the wall to see what sticks. That's pretty scary." So what is Google failing to see? It is (and you can go ahead and think that I am biased) the social aspects of the internet. These social aspects by far make for a better experience and make for a better internet. Google's hard-headed reliance on algorithms to index sites will be their death knell. What works better are collaborative information sites that have a large group of people working together. These social sites include Wikipedia, which by in large gives better answers than going to Google to search for something. Yahoo! Answers may have a lot of silly questions asked, but you can find some pretty damned good answers also. And by integrating the social element into search, the search results from Yahoo! MyWeb are a lot more relevant and useful. As I have written before: Humans Rule while Algorithms Drool.  I wonder when Google will realize this because apparently other companies have already realized it.