Google and search
Monday, August 27, 2007 by Dave Winer.
A few thoughts for Scoble for the morning.
1. Google is not going to replaced as the #1 search engine anytime soon. It's a simple application of Ries & Trout. There's a ladder in search, as in all product categories. Google is so firmly installed in the top rung of the search ladder it's hard to even think who #2 and #3 are. (That is, if Google is Coke, who is Pepsi?)
3. Search is like a desktop operating system. You can translate a dominant position in search into dominant positions in almost any other product category. There were lots of startups poised to kill Windows in the 80s and 90s. None of them had any impact on Windows, which was a juggernaut, as Google is a juggernaut today.
2. It's ridiculous to think that TechMeme is spam-resistant where Google is not. Both are algorithmic. While Gabe Rivera is a very smart and hard-working guy, they have plenty of smart people at Google.
3. You might have a case with Facebook. When I'm searching for something and can't find it on Google, I often ask the readers of my blog for help. Sometimes it's hard to formulate the query. The people who read my site are smart and like to show off. I think the same thing is happening on Facebook. If you can't find something, ask your network. That might go.
4. The idea that Facebook is an Internet within the Internet, something Time said today, that probably is a big threat to Google. I think you weakened your story by dragging Mahalo and TechMeme into it. The reason Facebook is interesting is that unlike Google it's built on identity, it's built on everyone being identified, and people having one identity (although it's certainly possible to have more than one, it might be hard to get a lot of people to recognize that identity, people with a lot of "friends" may be more trustworthy than people with very few). Facebook may be on a different ladder than Google is. I'm sure Google is all over this from every possible angle, so we'll find out shortly.
PS: Rand Fishkin steps through Scoble's piece.
PPS: The champion of the Internet in the battle against spam is using spam to promote his own product.