Google Stock Price Soars

Google’s stock price is soaring today.
Google had $1.58 billion in revenue last quarter, exceeding
expectations. The market cap is approaching $100 billion. Microsoft’s
is $265 billion. The gap continues to narrow.

I just finished reading the excellent book “The Search” by John Batelle
(co-founder of Wired Magazine and founder of the Industry Standard.) He
has excellent insights on why search is so important, why Google is
winning, and what the next generation of search might entail. He cites
a leading technologist who says we are only 5% of the way there with
our present search technology. There is so much more to do in this
field.

I had an idea this past week for a post-Google search engine. I
actually think Google has an achilles heel in the long run, a weakness
that stems from the way their algorithm is based on pure online
democracy (which is not a good thing), where every page can vote with
its links for what is relevant. Everyone in the SEO industry is gaming
Google, and the results are becoming less and less relevant. For many
terms it is ridiculous. I have an idea for a more “representative
republic” type of search engine.

13 Comments

  1. BlogShiz

    Interesting stuff. I just order Batelle’s book and I am looking forward to reading it. I also believe that search is in its infancy and I am currently working on a project to help make it more relevent. I’d like to hear more of your ideas. Its important to remember that anyone can be had by the innovators dilemma and Google is certianly not immune to this.

  2. I have felt ever since I got serious about SEO that Google’s algorithm is a joke. I get better results in library searches (granted, they are only sifting through the thousands whereas Google’s indexing 8 billion pages). The voting system worked maybe 5 years ago but now he who has the best PR wins. And most get frustrated with it so they just buy PPC ads, which Google takes to the bank. Why would Google ever want to improve their algorithm? They would have to nose-dive for people to stop using their engine. And the more they create a conflict among web site administrators, the more PPC advertising revenue they’ll generate. If I were in their shoes, I would just maintain the same game. Heck, we all buy into it don’t we? I vote for no voting. No republican, no democratic. That concept is stupid and does not add or subtract from a site’s relevance at all. Relevance is inherent in the content of the site. What needs to change is how it’s all organized.
    As for myself, I stick to Clusty.com.

  3. Eliot

    While a long time fan of Google, I believe that relevancy is weakening. There is great potential in ontological context-driven searches that will help consumers quickly sift through the billions of search results.

  4. Kristin

    Kozoru has a new natural language search engine which finds answers to your actual question instead of webpages that may contain answers. It’s quite brilliant–I believe it will be open for public use before the end of the year. http://www.kozoru.com

  5. Interesting post. I agree with you that search may need to evolve. I am largely unhappy with the efforts to search blogs and see making easier access to content as still a key necessity. In many ways, the web is still being fueled by the early adopters and the later adopters have less time for surfing to find interesting content.

    I look forward to hearing yours and others developments.

  6. I agree that Google isnt as great as some think it is. However, I seriously doubt that any large corporation will ever creat an engine that is truly “representative”. It will never be in thier best interest. Money will take priority.

  7. Google is more than a PR race. The text of inbound links counts for a lot, as do page titles, and, to a lesser degree, page content.

    That said, it is easy to game, because it is easy to rack up inbound links. It is more difficult, though, to collect relevant, high-quality inbound links. In the future, I’d like to see search engines that grok website subjects better than today’s engines.

    Right now, Google sucks at it, and they’re still winning — but I have a feeling the race is far from over.

    – Eric

  8. Marshall Burtcher

    Search is highly archaic and in the stone age of innovation. Relevancy is the whole point of search, and though Google does better than most, it still is ineffective. I’ve got my own idea of how search ought to work, and it has something to do with word root and definition relationships.

  9. Neal Harmon

    Paul, that is the coolest thing I’ve heard all day. The republic is a beautiful analogy. I think it could make a powerful search engine for similar reasons the founding father’s chose it over pure democracy. Very cool – let’s take on Google with that one 🙂

  10. Cory

    I think “audience driven search” is going to be the wave of the future because it is much more accurate in determining relevancy.

    I am intrigued with what eurekster is doing with their search model.

    As an added bonus, they are willing to share the pay-per-click revenue with sites that generate a significant number of hits.

  11. Russell Page

    I get frustrated with Google because its relevancy gets worse and worse by the month. It drives me nuts. Sometimes I get tired of it and just use Yahoo or AltaVista. One of these days it will be GOOD BYE!

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