April 26, 2008

The Search

It is interesting to see the plethora of search engines coming up almost every month trying to solve a particular aspect(problem) in searches and claiming them to be potential 'Google-Killers'. I admire Google for its ability to 'create' consumer markets than just following or doing what the consumer needs. This is very important for a product firm which does wish to succeed and has the guts to run the extra mile and implement some bleeding edge technologies. Google took a very simple requirement of enabling better data management on the web to a completely different level and is unarguably the best in its class now. Numerous books/articles/blogs have been written and eulogies sung in praise of Google; but at the same time I would like to raise a concern that I have been noticing for the past couple of months.

Google's relevance of results is decreasing day-by-day. I see loads of spam in Google's BlogSearch. There is no effective 'innovation' in the data-visualization and the way the results are being presented to the user continues to remain the same; and the Ads are also being presented in the same format.

IMHO, i would say the following 3 features to be 'most-essential' for the next search-engine startup to be successful:
- Duplicate Elimination (Chris Manning's group in Stan-NLP is doing some amazing research in this, and i guess a stealth-mode startup would have already started)
- Social searches (Something similar to what the Israeli startup Delver is doing - but of a much greater magnitude and more 'intelligent')
- Data Visualization

Update: Got 2 new books to read:
1) Phantoms in the Mind , By V.S.Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee
2) Indian Unbound , By Gurucharan Das


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Siddharth Jonathan said...

Thanks for your comment. Reg. Social searches I see 2 basic types
1. search for user generated content
2. search for people

These are all the things that get knit into most social networks in some form or the other and add to their pull against standalone IM.

The market for these types of searches is definitely rising. Although I don't think its rising at the expense of generic Web Search. Just my 2 cents.