Mediapost reports fresh search engine loyalty numbers, concluding that “Google gets the gold again” – 65 percent of Google users use only Google, as opposed to just 55 percent of Yahoo users. I’m not sure I buy the whole search engine loyalty thing. I think folks aren’t loyal, they’re lazy. As Yoda might say, not until a compelling choice they have, switch will they.
Which brings me to A9. Over at his blog, Rex points out I missed the most compelling potential A9 feature, that of collaborative filtering.
To me, A9 is not designed as an Internet search engine, but as a knowledge-searching tool to end all knowledge searching tools…..As you look for information, Amazon will provide you the results that “people like you” have found most helpful when searching for the same information, product, place, answer, etc
He’s right, of course, and I should have made a bigger point of this, but I sort of presumed that was the sex in A9 to begin with – it’s Amazon, after all. A knowledge-searching tool is exactly what a search engine should evolve towards. But I disagree with this:
I don’t think Amazon wants to compete with Google. Google admitted recently that it was a content business. Amazon has no such designs. Amazon, rather, wants to connect you with something you can purchase.
While I agree that Amazon wants to connect you to a purchase, I disagree with the implication that Google does not. The advertising business = the marketing business. and the marketing business = the ecommerce business. This loop, somewhat blurry in the physical world, is nearly seamless online. As I said in my posts, it’s two ends (search, commerce) to the middle here. That’s what makes it so interesting. And I am pretty sure that Google spiffed Froogle up and put it on the home page last month for a reason…and that the announcement of GMail, which will offer a compelling user lock-in, was not a coincidence. Rex points out, and I second wholeheartedly:
If A9 incorporates the collaborative filtering algorithms that power Amazon’s predictive recommendations to customers, it will (and I know this from very, very expensive first-hand experience) produce search results that will astound the user. Just think about it: Your search results will be filtered first by Google algorithms and then through Amazon’s collaborative filtering algorithms. In the simplistic metaphor we used at smallbusiness.com, “Your search results will be based on those results found most helpful by people like you. It will be cool. Promise.”
Damn straight. That sounds like one hell of a search engine, and if I were Google, I’d be most attentive.