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Google is committed to NOT being a Search Engine
tedster




msg:4504320
 5:59 am on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Many members here have observed that Google is no longer a traditional search engine. This is now an established fact. Google does not intend to remain a search engine:

Recently, Matt Cutts delivered the opening keynote for SES San Francisco (August 2012) where he clearly mentioned that one of the key focuses for Google is to move away from being a search engine and focus on becoming a knowledge engine. Google is so committed to this that Google's Search Quality team has been renamed to Google's Knowledge Team.

[searchenginewatch.com...]

This would be a major shift in what we know as the web. How to get found by new visitors would evolve in a big way. Those who depend on search traffic should be paying close attention to every step along this path because it WILL impact our own business models.

As one member said in our Next Generation SEO [webmasterworld.com] discussion, "Adapt or Die".

 

atlrus




msg:4504575
 5:26 pm on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google is simply following the crowd moving from desktop to mobile devices. Folks no longer want to search, they simply want answers.


Who is still searching on mobile?!? The only thing people search on a mobile phone is the app store :)

I want to check the NFL scores on my phone - I got live score app for that, why would I search google for it? I need a restaurant? I have an app for that. Need movie times? App. Check my bank account? My bank has an app. Need direction? Map App. News? News app. I honestly don't remember the last time I did a google search on my phone.

If you talk about mobile as in a tablet - my wife's iPad displays google results just like a desktop and my Android tablet uses browser set as desktop. Not sure about the original browser, but I think it also shows 10 results.

viral




msg:4504628
 8:59 pm on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google is a publicly listed company and as such and there is good research that shows publicly lusted companies would all be sociopaths. They care about nothing but making money for their share holders. The move towards a knowledge engine started when they floated the business Brinn and Page have no say in this. The shareholders are a fire that must be fed. Google has now realised that the easiest way to feed that fire is to eat into the revenues of the webmasters who helped them establish the business in the first place.

If you want more information on how a publicly listed company search psychology today although they take it one step further and say put forth the argument that publicly listed companies are more like psycopaths.

jimbeetle




msg:4504643
 9:34 pm on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Who is still searching on mobile?!?

I thought that's kinda' what I was saying.

xcoder




msg:4504659
 10:08 pm on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

We people in the business should be driving the move to get people to move away from any search engine that is not providing the best search results as opposed to those that are the most profitable.


This would be true in a normal world. But we are dealing with a major monopolistic corporation here. They've absolutely cornered the market via their numerous software and hardware products while flagrantly breaking dozens of copyrights and privacy laws in many countries. They are now in a position to dictate just about anything to anyone... We "webmaster" really stand no chance without proper government intervention and will have to continue putting up with this crap until such time.

They've crucified Microsoft for much much less... lets just hope Google gets no discounts...

[edited by: xcoder at 10:22 pm (utc) on Oct 5, 2012]

backdraft7




msg:4504661
 10:16 pm on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

If Google becomes a knowledge engine, where will they get all this knowledge? By "searching" our sites and scraping our content? That seems rather hypocritical to me. I'm feeling the same sentiment in these comments. Looks like brighter days ahead for BING!

Google has been making questionable choices from the start...once they got big enough, everything they see, they want to be. They're not satisfied with being the #1 search, they also wanted to be a payment portal, start page, social network and dozens of other non search related services, many of which lived only a short life... I think the DARPA influence is clouding what their true vision should be.

I'm surprised there isn't a Google 'rock band' yet.

austtr




msg:4504682
 11:38 pm on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

A knowledge engine eh. Such a beast would need an underlying database of information and Google would have that from all the websites it has indexed. There is just one problem... all that information is entirely dependent on the intellectual property of others. Google does not own it nor does it have permission to use it for its own exclusive commercial self interest.

So unless Google plans on becoming the world's biggest scraper, how does it intend to compensate the data creators for the use of their intellectual property? Will Adsense continue on the new platform? Will Google be forced by the courts to enter into agreements like the ones with book authors and publishers involved in the library book scanning project?

I look forward to seeing how Google will roll this out, whether they believe their monopoly status confers entitlement to just take what they want or if they will offer compensation for the data they use.

Same topic, but different thought. While Google can match an enquiry to the best match websites, there is no way it can know the accuracy of the information within those websites.... and presumably that information will be delivered to users of the knowledge engine.


kemcar




msg:4504727
 2:07 am on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

I too agree that all this fuss is about monetizing things in an even broader way and as far the 'knowledge' part is concerned, we users will be way happier if Google just continues to provide proper search results.

miozio




msg:4504753
 5:09 am on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

And they so much loved Wikipedia that they decided to become one!

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes...again
Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
----
This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
It hurts to set you free
But you'll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die
This is the end

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4504760
 6:07 am on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

One question: Why does Google think they can just take content without asking and expect to keep doing so when they stop sending "search" visitors? It won't end well, eventually, for anyone.

ethought




msg:4504770
 7:28 am on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is surely heading towards:

Google Knowledge Engine = informational searches
Google Shopping Engine = pay to play pure shopping listings / the king of all affiliates

Shepherd




msg:4504822
 11:03 am on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

One question: Why does Google think they can just take content without asking and expect to keep doing so when they stop sending "search" visitors? It won't end well, eventually, for anyone.


Why take? Google has the resources to create the content needed for their knowledge engine. 99% of the content on the internet is not rocket science.

MrSavage




msg:4504881
 4:10 pm on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think to think simplistic about this, it's like Google becoming the newspaper. They were the place to tell you where the best newspaper were and gave you links to find them. I see this as simply them becoming the newspaper. When you search news for example now you get get snippets. I guess the future Google goal is to have that entire article on their page. The only way this model works is for Google to be paying the actual newspapers an appropriate sum to print their content directly. I don't think it's too far fetched to think that in 10 years Google will be our newspaper/news source entirely. Content creator vs. tour guide.

I still think people want search so if they are moving away from search, logic says somebody will step up and fill that void. Either that or Google search becomes like a different arm of Google all together. You have to go to a different url to get search only.

mrguy




msg:4504886
 4:29 pm on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

I love the new direction Google is taking.

In my opinion, it will just spell out their demise much quicker.

A big part of the web and searching is finding new and different sites. A well done site will always hold the attention more over a site that just plain presents facts. In Googleís arrogance, they think they are going to shape the way people search and see information, but I think that approach is going to backfire on them.

They have already angered a good portion of the very people that are responsible for them being as big as they are, and have turned many against them.

Sooner or later something else will come along that will pull a large portion of their searchers away and once the happens, they are toast.

Personally, Iíve removed them from my life. I donít care where my sites rank on them, nor do I use any of their products and when asked about them, I always suggest people use something else. They have managed to turn me from a diehard Google supporter to a hardcore Google hater.

Great Job Google.

TypicalSurfer




msg:4504895
 5:28 pm on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Why does Google think they can just take content without asking and expect to keep doing so when they stop sending "search" visitors?


I think the answer to that is right here in this thread. People who provide the knowledge do so willingly, they'll actually optimize or promote the optimization of content for googles benefit.

I think this thread went 5 or 6 posts before the "how do we optimize for this?" bit went out when a more thoughtful response might have been "is this good for the community?". Google can only take from you what you consent to, apparently the default thinking in regards to google is to simply hand it over (on a silver platter).

Optimize for your own demise. Google doesn't need to "steal" anything when people are dumping their goods into their back yard.

Roaming Gnome




msg:4504901
 5:55 pm on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Maybe this was the long term plan all along.

"Lets get all websites formatted in such a way that we can pull the useful content without having to sift through advertisements and thin pages."

"Tell the webmasters to keep pertinent content above the fold."

"Give them circle jerked responses to our algos to make them comply."

"In about 2 years all the info we need will be perfected formatted for scraping."

FIN

TypicalSurfer




msg:4504907
 6:24 pm on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Roaming Gnome

Actually you are correct. The biggest challenge to large scale document retrieval is getting structured documents. The knee-jerk reaction to google is always "what a great search engine" but truth be told a lot of that credit rightfully belongs to the content creators for structuring their documents in a way that overcomes a search engines biggest challenge.

This is why I maintain that significant competition in the search space will come sooner rather than later, it's ridiculously easy to make sense of the web now. If you were to run a web crawler ten years ago, you'd be hard pressed to make sense of what you crawled, lack of proper titles, document names, etc. were the rule not the exception. It's a different world now.

lucy24




msg:4504950
 10:34 pm on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is the end
Beautiful friend

That sound you just heard was ASCAP flicking off the safeties and lining up their sights.

Brr.

financialhost




msg:4505112
 4:45 pm on Oct 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

It is way over due for a new search engine to give some much needed competition to Google, however this will not happen anytime soon.

If you compare Bing results to Google in most cases Bing is superior but hardly have any user base.

The ONLY reason why Google was able to gain such control was that they did the following:

1) Created a advertising system that was simple to use before the competition did
2) Got the majority of websites to use adsense promoting Google giving them massive branding

All Bing needs to do is to creative a simple to use and effective Adsense type model that pays websites more than Google and within a few years they would rival Google.

Bing sadly do not have the vision to see this simple fact.

The average Joe has been conditioned to use Google because they see the name all over the web.

It is not rocket science!

Shepherd




msg:4505119
 5:35 pm on Oct 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

[1) Created a advertising system that was simple to use before the competition did


I'm sure that Overture (and the courts) would disagree with that statement.

Google is doing what needs to be done whether we like it or not. Google is catering to the masses, the lowest common denominator. People can be lazy. People don't want to have to work to find the answers they are seeking. People don't care about your website and neither does Google. People just want to type (or speak into) a search box and they want the following to happen:
a. they want the search box to know what they want (even if they don't know, can't spell, forgot the name)
b. they want the answer to the question and they don't care to know where it came from and they don't want to go where it came from to see it, they want it shown to them without any further work on their part.

Anyone building a search engine now might as well call it 8 inch floppy search.

financialhost




msg:4505122
 5:49 pm on Oct 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm sure that Overture (and the courts) would disagree with that statement.


Overture was a buggy, slow and completely unfriendly system.
When Adwords appeared it was superior in every way and users could do things 10 times faster than in Overture.
Adsense was also far superior than Yahoo's attempt at the same.

As for the other points - pretty much all decent search engines can do.

lucy24




msg:4505226
 11:53 pm on Oct 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

they want the answer to the question

This gets recursive doesn't it? The whole thing only works if the question can be answered in a few words. Yes, No, 5-1 Leafs, cyan, Durham, 1215, Sundays at 8.

Does anyone still ask the other questions? What does the search engine do for them?

Shepherd




msg:4505239
 12:37 am on Oct 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Does anyone still ask the other questions? What does the search engine do for them?


What questions are currently being answered by websites that cannot be answered by a website?

Why does it need to be a few words? The knowledge graph is taking up quite a bit of space with many words, and pictures.

And if anyone thinks google has an issue with creating their own content take a look at street view.

tedster




msg:4505242
 1:14 am on Oct 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Does anyone still ask the other questions? What does the search engine do for them?

That's probably TBD, lucy - but I can imagine that the idea of Google serving up the one LINK to answer the query might be in the running at first (possibly with a "More" button".)

Of course, we're just blue-skying things here - and extrapolating our guesswork founded only on a very general set of conference comments.

The bypassing of current economic reality is only a part of it. While it seems certain to me that the coming decades will see more big changes in how our global society defines and protects intellectual property, I can't see it disappearing altogether, at least for many generations.

The idea of knowledge itself (especially intensively curated information) somehow becoming "open source" just doesn't look currently practical - it's not anything like a nearby destination in my view. For the global culture ever to get to a place like that will take at least a few generations, not just a few years.

Nevertheless, I do see the general demand (or at least expectation) for getting "the answer" fast - so it doesn't surprise me that Google might try to meet that demand. One thing seems sure: things are going to get even more interesting over the next few years!

Whitey




msg:4505255
 1:41 am on Oct 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google's statement could be a cultural / rebranding thing. I mean, could it be "search" = lost and then finds ; whereas "knowledge" = found.

The latter provides, perhaps, communication of the intent that Google already does the search first, not the visitor, and delivers the intelligence for knowledge on it's media real estate platform [ aka pages ].

Google already claims to know your intent. It responds with Google assets, lessening slots for SERP's and curtailing the long tail query with auto suggest that both controls and funnels the user intent. It has succeeded at removing many elements that make up SERP manipulation by site's to get a ranking advantage, in most key verticals.

I think the first level of that re-branding might be on a cultural shift for Google's staff as they tweak the algo's more along those lines. It may well be a way to differentiate their mission from Bing, and possibly other major players like Apple who may come more into the forefront with their own content enablement.

Maybe, over the coming months Google will talk more openly about this and we can see how it's manifesting itself. To be the central global player in knowledge would be a high ground advantage to take - if it can be achieved in marketing terms.

atlrus




msg:4505449
 1:31 pm on Oct 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

What questions are currently being answered by websites that cannot be answered by a website?

Why does it need to be a few words? The knowledge graph is taking up quite a bit of space with many words, and pictures.


Many questions and I agree with lucy24. Yes, google could answer the search "Steelers score", but how would they answer "Will the Steelers get to the Super Bowl?" or "How to make pizza", or just "pizza recipes"...

And if anyone thinks google has an issue with creating their own content take a look at street view.


Did you forget street view? Something as simple as "drive a van around to take images" turned into theft of personal information over wireless network.

The few times I've used Street View - it has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. What was once a pet store next to an accounting firm when the image was taken is now a McDonald's with a parking lot... Only google can invest so much money in an enterprise that is bound to doom from the very beginning. Who would've thought that modern landscape changes all the time?!?

And at the end of the day, for all the branding google has done, they still missed the major point - brand loyalty. Google has none. Apple has brand loyalty, Firefox has brand loyalty, Google has "habit". People search on Google out of pure habit, not because they offer the best results.
If tomorrow Apple and Firefox teamed up and asked their customers to "try this new search engine, instead of google" - Google will file for bankruptcy in a week. Millions of ads will go unclicked, WallStreet will start dumping stock and - bye bye google. Who really cares if they search on Google or FireApple?

Shepherd




msg:4505455
 2:02 pm on Oct 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

but how would they answer "Will the Steelers get to the Super Bowl?" or "How to make pizza", or just "pizza recipes"...


Are these question being answered by websites now? If they are then they can be answered by Google on Google.

atlrus




msg:4505459
 2:17 pm on Oct 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Are these question being answered by websites now? If they are then they can be answered by Google on Google.


No, they can't, not without scraping those websites and we can all agree that this is not going to fly.

And no matter how much money Google has - it's not nearly enough to buy the internet or to re-create the internet. You can only scrape it.

Shepherd




msg:4505469
 2:27 pm on Oct 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

No, they can't, not without scraping


Why can't Google create their own answer? Why does an answer have to be scraped? Seems like narrow thinking to me.

indyank




msg:4505479
 2:43 pm on Oct 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

And no matter how much money Google has - it's not nearly enough to buy the internet or to re-create the internet. You can only scrape it.


They know that by partnering a few preferred websites they can answer most questions. One big partner is wikipedia. That would leave them with only a few other sites from whom they would have to scrape and deal with them legally, if the need arises. They would be hoping that like how they got the U.S. courts decide in their favor for having thumbnail images, they could also get them to rule in their favor for scraping the short relevant answers from third party sites.

They are already making statements to the effect that facts can't be copyrighted meaning they have every right to scrape the short answers.These are well thought out and nicely timed statements by google.

atlrus




msg:4505480
 2:46 pm on Oct 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Why can't Google create their own answer?


They've tried this before. Did you forget Google Answers?

They would be hoping that like how they got the U.S. courts decide in their favor for having thumbnail images, they could also get them to rule in their favor for scraping the short relevant answers from third party sites.


There is a huge difference between showing a thumbnail linked to a website compared to just showing a thumbnail. Google is already providing the thumbnail image version of a search - it's the search results.

There is no way any court would rule in favor of google just showing thumbnails, without linking to the original website. And I do believe (or at least hope) that no court would allow google to steal content without a link back. From there on - it's the website owners' decision whether they would allow google to use their content like that.

indyank




msg:4505484
 2:58 pm on Oct 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

The only way for such third party sites to escape from this kind of scraping is not have fixed html tags for facts or answers on their site. They have to mix up the html tags or find out some innovative ways to prevent Google from doing such automated scraping.

The first important step for webmasters who do not like these Google moves is to stop using any free google product. These free products are all knitted together to serve their information or knowledge engine dreams in several ways.

[edited by: indyank at 3:02 pm (utc) on Oct 8, 2012]

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