• http://twitter.com/i_praveensharma Praveen Sharma

    There have been many tie-ups and collaborations in the past as well to outclass Google, but Google is still there at the top and tie-ups are gone. Why? Google has smart people to work with than others.

  • http://twitter.com/todayztrendz David Smith

    It’s not often I agree with you Danny, but I do agree that anything Yahoo! or Facebook could offer in partnership would be half-baked and poor. I don’t rate either company very highly when it comes to innovation or engineering.

    Now here’s where you’ll no doubt disagree with me, though:

    The biggest threat to Google isn’t Faceook or Yahoo! It’s the fact that Google are still almost completely reliant on Adwords as their main income. Google have done a great job in 2012 of improving their Adwords revenue by making the organic listings far poorer in terms of quality and variety. This comes at a great cost to Google in terms of reputation. The webmaster / tech community have pretty much unanimously agreed that results are poorer and less relevant since their updates this year. Google are playing the hand they didn’t want to play because of pressure to perform to the shareholders.

    Furthermore, they’ve gone for paid-inclusion for their Shopping channel which has also made this a poorer experience for the shopper (while making Google money), as you have said so yourself Danny. There’s a lot less choice now for the shopper. Another hand Google likely didn’t want to play, but HAD to play.

    It’s not that Google will be “caught up to” by another search engine, it’s that Google will keep deliberately sabotaging their commercial organic listings and get to a point where your average searcher will start to truly feel frustrated with Google. I’m sure Google’s decision makers hope that people’s frustration with the organic listings will make them click on ads more (this seems to be the case in the last 12 months), but for how much longer can they rely on that?

    More and more, we see Adwords taking up the entire above-the-fold area, making organics practically non-existent on many commercial searches. Even Google recognise this as lowering the quality for searchers (See: Top Heavy update), but quick money for Google that pleases their board / shareholders who don’t seem to look past the next 3 months.

    I think deep down most searchers prefer accurate organic listings to clicking on ads because organics offer a richer variety of end-destination websites and are less biased (talking about Google pre-2012 here) than ads. And here’s the most obvious thing: a search engine is designed to search THE INTERNET, not a database of advertisers. That includes commercial searches too. It seems Google is showing us an ever-shrinking internet, when in reality, it’s FAR bigger than their top SERPs show. People use a search engine to search the internet, not to get a list of advertisers and only big brands in the SERPs (who also feature in the ads too). This is not the internet.

    How long can Google enjoy this period of “quick Adwords money” by dialling down the quality on their organic listings? Google are hoping that ad-clicking becomes a habit now and it’s the new-normal to see Google as an ad engine for commercial searches and not an internet search engine. IF that does occur (and I have more respect for searchers to believe that), then there is most certainly a market space for a search engine that can offer accurate organic listings for commercial searches.

  • Alan

    I agree with most of what you say David and I have argued many of these points here and on other blogs and forums.

    Personally I think you are right Google is the biggest danger to Google. Every hyper successful company (and there have been a few) thinks that they are to big to fail. So they start taking liberties with their users. Google is at this point now.

    It all basically boils down to arrogance mixed with paranoia, Google for a long time thought it was the internet, Then along came Facebook that showed it other companies can have the same delusions of grandeur.

    As a result to grow the war chest cash becomes an imperative and the easiest way to do that is to undermine that other supporter base that Google has. The publishers that are out there building great content for users to search for.

    Short term it is a great strategy, however no matter how smart Google thinks it is and how unassailable their position is, someone always comes along and builds a better mouse trap. Google are now more vulnerable than ever due it’s bad results. Some quick thinking ubergeek and his possy of no-lifes will come along and steal market share out from under Google. Things happen fast on the net these days. No company is to big to fail.

  • http://www.rimmkaufman.com/ George Michie

    It is hard to see FB welcoming any supporting service that would take people away from FB. Search helps people find somewhere else to go, and FB doesn’t want people to go anywhere else.

    FB has hired a good number of very talented search engineers from Bing and Google, but I believe this to be an effort to surface information to users that they will find relevant without having to search for it. “Your favorite Band just announced their 2013 travel schedule, your favorite baseball player got traded…” Give people more reason to spend time on FB without having to leave to find news that is relevant to them.

    If they could pull that off at a very high level, it might eat into Google’s share of informational queries, but I don’t see them competing meaningfully with Google’s revenue stream in commercial intent queries.

  • http://twitter.com/zoransa Zoran Knezevic

    I just wait when one new startup will come and pass them all like a train… just remember how you were speculating 2005 with few names like google, yahoo, aol, myspace then came digg, then came Flickr, then came youtube, then come Facebook… and all those smart articles just digg in your archive and show me one that you can say ‘I told you so’

  • http://www.v2interactive.net/ Josh

    Ms Sandberg is the COO of Facebook, not CEO as mentioned in the above article. (could be a simple typo)

  • keaner

    “The computer codes that power search engines — algorithms — don’t become more powerful as more people use them” I just assume that was a mistype, There are many learning algos that indeed do this. google themselves does this, how do you think they learned synonyms way back in the day.

    Good article though

  • http://www.techzar-web-developers.com/ TechZarInfo

    Thanks for guiding and conveying some useful information about search engines like yahoo,bing.

  • http://twitter.com/bsdeshmukh Babarao Deshmukh

    Rather than challenging google, facebook should concentrate on its current inside facebook search, it never shows correct search although users are registered on that site, so if it can’t show correct search inside facebook, we shouldn’t waste time for thinking on facebook/it’s search engine. It won’t happen ever.

  • robthespy

    “Fish in a barrel” here for Danny!

    But what if Facebook, Bing AND Yahoo! merged all of their computer codes? MEGA!

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Sorry, I knew that — just a typo, which we’ve fixed.

  • http://www.v2interactive.net/ Josh