Google, as we all know, is by far the most popular Search Engine in the world, and over the years its market share keeps growing and growing, Yahoo and MSN together represent one third of Google’s search market share.
Since its launch, Google has built a huge multi functional empire in the search industry, just like Microsoft in the OS industry, but it is well known that all empires fall at some point in History and Google’s is about to take two big blows that could cause serious damage to its fortified walls, two new search engines are emerging with the prospects of delivering faster and more relevant results.
The first one is Wolfram Alpha, search industry experts don’t consider Wolfram Alpha a direct Google competitor. Developed by Stephen Wolfram, the noted scientist and author behind the Mathematical computational software mathmatica and the book “A New Kind Of Science”, Wolfram describe its service as a “computational knowledge engine” and I personally like the term used by Danny Sullivan for Search Engine Land, Danny describes Wolfram Alpha as a “fact search engine” with no serious threat to Google.
Wolfram Alpha doesn’t crawl the web instead it works with a variety of providers to gather public and private information, with a staff of over 150 people to ensure the information is clean and tagged in a way that Wolfram Alpha can present. What is so interesting is the relevancy on search results and the amount of facts and statistics you get with a simple search like London, if you have some spare you can watch Wolfram presentation at Harvard here.
It was made clear that Wolfram Alpha has no commercial intention and it is not a threat to Google, but let’s wait and see if more and more people refer to its service, and millions of ads proposal start flying Dr. Wolfram’s way, then we’ll see if it won’t be monetized, how many cases like that we have seen over this new Internet era? Facebook, Youtube ring any bells?
The second and strongest blow Google will receive comes from social networking rising star – Twitter, Twitter’s new VP of Operations, Santosh Jayaram, announced Twitter Search will start crawling links within Twitter posts and indexing them with an algorithm that not only takes into account relevancy but also reputation and hot trends on Twitter.
It is too early to tell how good the new Twitter Search will be Jayaram himself doesn’t yet know exactly how the algorithm will work, but if it succeeds in delivering fast and highly relevant results, Google should start to worry, because a Twitter crawler will crawl and index the links within tweets and this link (or page) might not yet be indexed by Google and this could make people refer to Twitter Search and not to Google, this has been labelled as “Real Time Search”. More to that in future posts.
Does Google have anything to worry about? Has Google got the strength and knowhow to fortify its defences against upcoming Search Engines? What do you think?