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Facebook Killing Google? Um, No

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Some buzz centered on Robert Scoble’s contention that properties like Facebook and human-edited search engine Mahalo add up to a Google-free future misses out on an important factor.

Facebook Killing Google? Um, No
Facebook Killing Google? Um, No

When you spend a lot of time working around the tech industry, it’s easy to get caught up in the belief that a truly innovative or useful product will turn the world around on its axis. It just doesn’t happen all that often.

Scoble refers to Facebook, Mahalo, and Techmeme as technologies destined to upend the Google apple cart in the next four years. He calls these services "SEO-resistant," making the assumption that such a quality equals superior results.

He may well be right about this. Answers driven by an expert should be better than a keyword search, unless of course the expert’s answers show up at the top of the search results (perhaps getting there through SEO, too.) Then they are no better or worse than dropping a query into a search engine.

There’s more at work with search engine usage than just the quality of their results. Search engines have usability that we like to call the ‘television factor.’ Dropping a query into a traditional search engine is easy, just type and hit a button.

Getting the most out of Facebook means putting work into it. For the young college set that formed its original userbase, time isn’t as scarce a commodity as it is for people even a year or two out of school, or longer.

It’s not as easy as hitting a button on a remote.

Criticizing SEO has come easily to many. Danny Sullivan, in his reaction on Search Engine Land to Scoble’s videos, delivered the most stinging response he’s ever posted:

Want to be like Robert — and Jason Calacanis — and keep equating SEO with spam? Then fuck off.

I don’t think I’ve ever used the F-word in any of my writing, and my apologies for being so crass. But I’ve had enough of people trying to advance their own personal agendas (Jason hoping someone will care about Mahalo; Robert hoping someone will watch his videos) on the back of an industry that is full of plenty of people who do good work.

We like Mahalo and Techmeme, but it just isn’t difficult to imagine one of the big four search engines duplicating what they do as the concept of universal search takes a mantra-like hold in the thoughts and work of those engines’ research labs.

That easy button click isn’t going away. It’s not technology or even quality that Scoble’s touted trio have to overcome. It’s inertia and the television factor. They are tough to beat when trying to reach enough momentum to upend traditional search.

Facebook Killing Google? Um, No
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  • http://www.athleticsfood.de Tribulus

    only Google can killing Google ;-)

    • http://www.owl-go.de owl

      That is at present the truth and will also remain for some time.

  • sofakingdabest

    I went to Mahalo for the first time. It couldn’t find my search and then passed me off to Google! What the…? What the…? All hail Google.

  • http://www.anndesigns.com Ann Williams

    Nah. Those with fast brains will think through the keywords quickly and go for the easy click, not caring what technical pathway gets them what they’re after. It’s their nature to get there fastest and save themselves for their own brainwork projects.

    Those with slower brains (moi and all those other members of Vast, the Majority) will opt for the easy click, too, but will maybe be selective about what SE they use because they have previously determined which they will worship: the God Google or the demigods, MSN and Yahoo. But that’s the only real thinking they will do about it. It’s not in their nature to be inventive, but simply to ask for deliverance and expect it.

    Not ever in the annals of man and his internet will you get him to stop and think about asking directions.

    The Google bestows, we question not our faith in its system, we pray a keyword, we click and behold! A bounty of 1 of 10 of 3,275,892 are delivered unto us.

    And it is good.

  • http://www.OneEzStep.com Mike Gusler

    Do you remember the 1976 movie Network, where the radical news anchor gets the mass of the people to yell, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.”?

    That’s my feelings exactly, the major search engines are more about ‘Ad Words’ then actually helping the individual in their search efforts. SEO is a Billion Dollar business, and most people I know are sick and tired of it.

    Try to find a local business using generic search and you end up trying to sort through a million plus results.

    My solution was to build a local online business directory to help consumers in my area find businesses in my area. www.1EzStep.com Maybe some other “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.”
    people will do the same for their community.

  • http://www.laptopbatteryshop.co.uk dell 1691p

    Oh, no, I like both of them, I don’t want any of them dead

  • hahaha

    Who is Robert Scoble? I read somewher that he is a Microsoft drop-out after just 2 years or so with Microsoft. What is Mahalo and Techmeme never came across them even spend 8 hours a day online. Google just deliver everything I need, Period.

    • oz

      Um if you spend 8 hours online and have not heard of techmeme then I can draw one of 2 conclusions:
      a)you are too busy chasing 15 yr old gothic girls on myspace
      b)you are too busy chasing 60 yr old men on myspace

      • zero

        Isn’t That the same way Robert Scoble jump to conclusion just like you.

  • Julie

    Great article – I completely agree!

  • Jack

    I seriously doubt this will happen, simply because the average internet surfer is intimidated by new sites and Mahalo would have to have 1/10 of TV and web commercial space to have serious competition. Even if this was the case, I’m sure Google would easily buy them out.

    Another reason for my dubiousness is that Mahalo would have to have a very broad staff to just scan and select. Wikipedia has a big problem with this, so information is often inaccurate. Mahalo also is a user-submit site rather than pick and choose from an actual web engine. This limits it to a very narrow bit of the internet (which of course can be helpful, but its a lot lost). A good bit of use for the search engine is searching for important knowledge which may be lost if a user does not provide it ahead of time or if staff does not approve or notice.

  • http://www.furnituremanufacturers.net Praveen Kumar

    The “End Of Google Days ” is no mean …

  • http://www.searchingdot.com Howie

    I enjoyed your article / summary of Danny’s conversation on SearchingLand.

    I just added my comments on my blog -

    http://www.searchingdot.com/2007/09/04/who-will-kill-google/

    Basically – I agree, I don’t think we need to go run out and find a real job just yet :)

  • http://www.clickindia.com/ free indian classifieds

    I really dont think facebook is any competition to google. First of all, the basic purpose of both the apps are different and the methodology used to fulfill even the same needs is different.

    both have their own domain and area of expertise.

  • http://www.heilkreide-shop.de R

    its  make a little trouble by google, but google is big, google is great

    in the end do google smile

  • http://www.bodyspeed.de muskelaufbau

    google is so big, the are leve and leave. its a little trouble bat in the end google will smile

  • http://www.natural-fatburner.de Kre-alkalyn

    Not ever in the annals of man and his internet will you get him to stop and think about asking directions.

  • Tribulus

     It couldn’t find my search and then passed me off to Google! What the…? What the…? All hail Google.

    • http://www.extrem-muskelaufbau.de Tribulus

      All hail Google zum Muskelaufbau ist das Tribulus super gebraucht.

  • http://www.tysonlab.com reddevil

    the God Google or the demigods, MSN and Yahoo. But that’s the only real thinking they will do about it. It’s not in their nature to be inventive, but simply to ask for deliverance and expect it.

  • http://www.student-edu.com/ Education Financing For College Students

    They all have some good purposes, but for search engines, it comes down to the top three of Yahoo, Msn, and of course Google being number one.

    Sure, the whole domination issue is annoying, but instead of being focused on that, why not give ourselves a Good Education  and learn more about our individual Online needs, and find what best suits that.

    www.student-edu.com

  • http://www.mein-muskelaufbau.de Muskelaufbau

    Google is and will be the biggest Search Engine on the world…So…what can we do??

  • http://www.hindlist.com eyesopen

    Mahalo is stll new and needs some time

  • http://www.hindlist.com eyesopen

    Mahalo is stll new and needs some time

    • http://www.southsmoke.com hookah

      I agree with you eyesopen, Mahlo did well from last 2 years and i believe that in 2009 it will come up with his best.

  • http://www.stewi-online.de Guest

    Thx that are a Great article – I completely agree with this!

  • http://www.special-shopping.de/Eiweiss Eiwei

    …to the biggest and powerfullest “factory”, which the world ever seen…!

  • http://www.wowspa.com wow gold cheap

    thank you

  • http://www.extrem-billiger.de Billiger

    its make a little trouble by google, but google is big, google is great

    in the end do google smile – > yes i think too

  • http://www.hindlist.com afansaad

    Mahalo and google are both good

  • http://www.pro-software.it/software-house.html software house

    If you create any search engine in any software house but on one can beat Google. So Facebook has other things to attract people and it does as well.

  • http://www.tw-ruegen.de Guester

    Its ok, google are ever the biggest

  • http://www.it-sells.de Veyton Templates

    I need Google daily but I prever Facebook. It`s my personal opinion, but this topic is quit good.

  • http://www.it-sells.de Veyton Templates

    google is so big, the are leve and leave. its a little trouble bat in the end google will smile

  • http://www.alleinunterhalter-toni.de Alleinunterhalter

    Google can’t be killed. By nothing anymore. Its already too big.
    Look at Germany. The word to “Google” is in the dictonary (NO JOKE) its true.
    99% of all the ppl are using google.

  • http://www.m2medien.com Werbetechnik

    too late to overcome google :)

  • http://www.mybait.de Lowrance HDS

    Great article, very interesting.

  • http://www.uggs-onsale-outlet.org/ Guest

    Life
    ??— By Allan Houston
    ??Life can be good,
    ??Life can be bad,
    ??Life is mostly cheerful,
    ??But sometimes sad.
    ??Life can be dreams,
    ??Life can be great thoughts;
    ??Life can mean a person,
    ??Sitting in court.
    ??Life can be dirty,
    ??Life can even be painful;
    ??But life is what you make it,
    ??So try to make it beautiful.

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