Answer Engines

Jun 13th

A friend named Brent sent me a link to the Cyc project page on Wikipedia and a background video on Google Video. Cyc is an AI project which aims to enable AI applications to perform human-like reasoning.

What happens to the value of your content when search engines get better at providing answers directly in the search results? Is your site the type of site they would like to cite, or does it fall further down the list on another category of queries? What can you do to make them more likely to want to source your site? Does your site have enough perceived trust and value to draw clicks after they put your content directly in the search results?

As search engines work harder at things like universal search, search personalization, and cyc any sites which are only facts and filler won't get much exposure.

Published: June 13, 2007

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Comments

Alin Rosca
June 14, 2007 - 10:49pm

The problem with Google is that it is the Wal-Mart of search. Wal-Mart is good in that it has a lot of products, at a low price, meaning it will be the first destination for a lot of folks not looking for specialty stuff.

But - if you want to buy professional power tools, you won't go to Wal-Mart, even though they have power tools; if you want to buy designer clothes, you won't go to Wal-Mart, even though they carry clothes. Ditto for sporting goods, auto parts, etc. In all these cases, you'd go to a specialty store.

How does this apply to the Internet: right now, the search market is dominated by Google (plus the herd behind it - Yahoo, etc.) - all of them "generalist" search engines (i.e., the Wal-Marts, K-Marts, etc. of the brick'n'mortar world). There are no well-known specialty search engines, focused exclusively on, vertical markets (as the specialty stores in the real world).

I think there is a huge - and growing - opportunity for such "vertical search engines" to establish themselves. Google will crumble under its own weight, in that it cannot continue to be everything for everybody as the Internet grows and the searchers become more sophisticated.

With the recently announced integration of video, etc. in Google's search results, I think they just substantially contributed to this trend. It simply takes too long to find anything special on Google - they flood you with stuff that's too general or unrelated.

Wow that was a long posting. But yours was an interesting point, Aaron.

Cheers,

Alin

SEO
June 15, 2007 - 10:05am

I feeel and i must say there is a huge - and growing - opportunity for such "vertical search engines" to establish themselves. Google will crumble under its own weight, in that it cannot continue to be everything for everybody as the Internet grows and the searchers become more sophisticated.
http://www.evision.com.pk

Paris
June 15, 2007 - 11:16pm

"What happens to the value of your content when search engines get better at providing answers directly in the search results? Is your site the type of site they would like to cite, or does it fall further down the list on another category of queries?" Very clear thinking Aaron. Other than the effects of monopoly (Google text link penalizations etc.), every thing will move in the direction of fresh, innovative content as the nets gold. High value will be on quick expert interpretation as volume and mashups create clutter. Keep reading, thinking, collaborating and creating.

Craig
June 18, 2007 - 4:51am

What happens to the value of your content when search engines get better at providing answers directly in the search results?

I think that is a very interesting question but, I think the answer may not be all that difficult.

Instead of "link baiting" I think we will se a shift towards "content baiting".

Content so compelling that the search engines will find it irresistible but not such that it is the entire contents of your page.

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