Search Dominance in Your Grandma’s Internet
For almost as long as I’ve been aware there was a Google, I’ve heard people foretelling its imminent demise. Historically this is a smart bet when it comes to search engines – Over the short lifetime of the World Wide Web, quite a few search engines have come and gone. A number of them – Webcrawler, Altavista, Lycos – were the kings of search in their heydey, only to end up losing market share, dwindling in search volume until someone bought them up. They now live out their technological lives on the sidelines, as ‘out to pasture’ as a company can be and still exist. So it’s not hard to see why man people think Google’s time has come. A many search for google jump shark returns almost a million pages – that’s a lot of tongue-wagging.
Well, I’ll just come out and say it. The naysayers are wrong. Google will be king of search for a long time to come, and here’s why:
Top 7 reasons Google will be king of search in 2016
- The Internet isn’t dominated by nerds anymore.
Young, techie types who are enjoy new technology once filled the Internet like buffalos on a 1700’s Midwest prairie. Their influence is now diluted by the millions of users like my mother – less technical and more likely to to find what works and stick with it. These are users who will never try Firefox, or be very likely to change search engines. It used to be that as soon as a better search engine came along, all the nerds would switch en masse. Today if another engine came along that provided much more relevant results than Google, only nerds would quickly (or maybe ever) switch.
- The best search results.
The bottom line is Google’s technology is at least a year or two ahead of MSN and Yahoo!. Their algorithms consistently deliver more relevant search results that are harder to spam (and to rank for). Their use of trustrank and other new concepts allow them more ways to spot dodgy techniques and to reward good, deserving sites.
- Google is a media darling.
Journalists just love writing about Apple and Google, and rarely cast them in a negative light. Each company will continue to enjoy the effects for the foreseeable future, as long as they avoid the ‘evil’ reputation that Microsoft has gained.
- The power of the grid.
Googles massive server farm has unmatched capacity. It allows them to roll out services that no one else can, like free hosted web statistics and froogle, two services that site owners pay for with everyone else. In return, Google is gathering a vast storehouse of clickstream and user activity data, along with priceless branding. As more people are using Googles services for email, maps, or digital picture management, its inevitable that they will at least try the search engine too.
- Rapid adoption of new technology.
Google is quick to jump on new trends and to break new ground. They have already set up free wi-fi Internet service in their home town, and were quick to provide mobile phone search results. They invest in many projects and good ideas, many of which will be mediocre, but it only takes a few to be home runs for them all to pay off.
- Employees 20% personal projects time.
This is just a great idea for a technology company that employs so many smart folks. Simply giving them time to bounce ideas around and work on new and interesting projects can make for some amazingly good ideas. Even if the 20% plan never created a single money-making idea, just allowing smart people to pursue their own interests will go a long way for moral and employee retention.
- Proper growth management.
Nothing is harder than for a company to go from a small to a medium sized business, then again to a large international corporate entity. Google has done both in a very small time frame, and done it very well. They have kept up their hiring standards and, from all outward appearances, been able to scale their company to nearly 7,000 employees in their short existence.
For me, the only way Google could lose its place would be for another search engine to beat them squarely in search relevance (something no other engine is even close to doing), and then somehow get the world to care enough to switch. Once most people are comfortable with something that works, especially with computers, they rarely re-evaluate it. This of course isnt true for us nerdy types, which explains why Firefox usage grew so fast for a while until it plateaud at 15-20%. I guess thats the nerd population, and they are no longer the majority.
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