Study questions Google’s long-term dominance

More evidence of the commodification of search. If search engines all have the same quality of results, then why waste effort competing on quality? Why not collaborate on that, and compete elsewhere?

6 Responses to “Study questions Google’s long-term dominance”

  1. hcyz Says:

    I don’t think commerical search engines will cooperate and improve their search quality together in future. Search quality is part of their branding. A search engine needs to make their search quality look better than the others.

    What do you mean by ‘elsewhere’? Personalization, Clustering, or Visualization? Can you talk a little more about that?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    So, if as has been observed, Google and Yahoo!’s result quality is indistinguishable, why do folks use one over the other? My guess is that Yahoo! folks do because they already use Yahoo! for other things, like email, instant messaging and calendar, in other words, because it’s a full-featured portal with dedicated users. And I’d guess that most Google users use Google because they think it has the best results, they like the user-experience, they’ve had good experiences with Google in the past, Google’s ads have always been subdued, etc. Google has a very strong brand.

    So what do I mean by “elsewhere”? Stuff like portal features, branding, user-experience, ad placement, etc. None of these has anything to do with result quality, but they’re all big issues to end users.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    My guess is that most of it is habit, marketing, branding, and hype. I don’t think Google’s results are any better than those of Yahoo, AllTheWeb, WiseNut, or Teoma. ‘To google’, however, has become a verb, and so on.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I think it is important that there is variety and different technology bases behind the search. While working together can improve results it could also keep them stagnant.

    Often times people search to find some stuff on one of my sites using stuff like paxil feedback – buy – purchase – pharmacy – order – sale

    most people are not sophisticated enough to use these negative words, and some that are still need to use near a half dozen negative keywords to try to offset the effects of the commercial nature of the web.

    there is too much money in reverse engineering results to where I think it is far better for the world to have many different options (different algorithms/engines) to overcome these faults.

    another reason some of the other search engines have a quality level anywhere near what Google has is that people have not actively gamed their search engine as much as people have gamed Google for a few years running (which until recently was powering ~75% of the search market).

    Yahoo! sponsored ad placements dilute their organic results and make a top Google listing usually worth far more than a top Yahoo! listing.

    Teoma goes unchallenged because it is more expensive to set up and maintain authority clusters than it is to artificially boost one site, and Teoma only owns a few percent of the search market. They also place a ton of ads at the top of their commercial search results on the Ask Jeeves site.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Is google the only place with access to deja’s ancient newsgroup archive? If so, I can’t see it being replaced any time soon.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I agree it’s important to have a few different algorithms behind the different search engines so if you can’t find something on one engine you have a good possibility of finding it on another. I think I read somewhere that Google and Yahoo only have a 20% overlap in the top 100 listings, yet I can consistantly use either engine successfully when I do a search, usually finding what I want in the top few results. It goes to show a diversity of algorithms is a good thing.

    What’s the clustering people keep talking about?

    Teoma/Askjeeves/Ask should have stuck with and improved it’s natural language search. If it did it would have a unique feature to compete with. As it is, what does it have? Little name recognition and expensive TV ads. Hm.

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