Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Will Google Be Replaced by a Different Kind of Search

I watched with interest Robert Scoble's video presentation about why Google and similar search engines will eventually be replaced by a "social networking" kind of search, like Mahalo, where real people locate and aggregate information, not algorithms. His idea is that there is so much gaming of Google by Search Engine Optimization (SEO), i.e. companies and bloggers trying to get links to their sites in order to make money from ads on their sites, that Google won't be able to stay ahead of the SEO people. But social networking is becoming so much more developed now that people will be able to use a network of people they trust to find the information they want. He uses Mahalo, Techmeme and Facebook as examples. It's interesting, the idea of a trusted network.

Twitter kind of works like that, too. I follow certain people on Twitter, not because I know them but because I've read their blog posts, or articles, or seen them on Twitter because other people that I'm following follow them. So if one of these people posts a link to something, I'm likely to follow it and see what they are talking about. That's how I saw Scoble's video, which isn't linked to anything, he says, except social networking ways of getting the word out, so you can't find them on Google.

It sounds possible to me. But his presentation has prompted a firestorm of controversy, with posts such as the one on Wired, trashing Scoble's ideas. Such are the ways of the blogosphere, I guess. I would prefer to have heated discussion without a lot of disrespect and namecalling, but it doesn't seem to work that way.

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