Will There Ever Be a Search Engine Better Than Google?

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By Jacob Maslow

Young successful happy smiling business woman on laptopUsually, when somebody comes up with an invention, the next people ask is, “Is there a better alternative?” That is how modern markets work. We are always looking for the next big thing. We are always looking for ‘bigger and better’.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is the 800 pound gorilla of the global search market. It makes billions of dollars every year in advertising revenue. The temptation that one should avoid is to think that the game will never change, that this will always be Google’s game.

Instead, people should focus on the question of whether or not a better search engine would materialize. The good news is that it can. Here are just some ideas.

Better Solution: Better Search Intent Detection

The big weakness of Google is that it uses keywords. Whenever you use keywords, there is always the present danger of multiple-intent keywords. For example, if I am looking to do a research paper on the history of the video discs, I can always enter the keyword ‘video discs’ into Google. Nine times out of ten, the results that I would get are for people reviewing video discs or selling video discs.

Do you see what is wrong with this picture? It is very different from my intent. That is the big problem that a keyword-based search system will always run into: the problem of intent.

A better solution would be to use automated means to detect intent. If a search engine can detect intent better, it can display a more relevant content. This results in searchers doing fewer searches and getting more information in less time.

More Innovative Solution: Dynamic Partnerships With Content Providers

The more aggressive approach would be for the search engine to actually directly partner with content providers. Google is actually just indexing existing content. There is no pre-existing relationship with the content provider. Not surprisingly, when you search in Google, you are only looking for stuff as it already exists.

A more aggressive and innovative solution would be for a search engine to be based around a partnership with content providers. This way, there is a triple win created. The user wins because he/she gets exact content based on what he/she is looking for, and doesn’t have to look elsewhere. The search engine wins because there is a higher degree of loyalty when people spend less time searching and get exactly what they are looking for. This translates to more valuable ads and a more meaningful advertising experience. The content provider, on the other hand, benefits because the level of engagement they enjoy with the end user can lead to higher revenues.

Everybody wins with this solution. It all leads to a superior search engine where there is a seamless relationship between content, advertising, and user experience.

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