People Power Vs Google

106 Comments

Will a people’s collective be able to beat Google at the search game?

That’s the proverbial $64,000 question, and venture investors are trying to answer that by funding start-ups such as Wink, that plans to go live perhaps as soon as Thursday, according to Silicon Valley sources. The company has been in a limited beta since October, and today conducted a major update to its infrastructure and interface, according to their blog.

Wink is a search engine that integrates tag results from multiple sources such as del.icio.us, Digg, Yahoo MyWeb (and we’re adding more). As more services incorporate tags and user input, new pages are added to the Wink index and ranked using our TagRank technology to deliver the best results.

Wink is backed by some serious heavy weights: Scott Kurnit of About.com; Ron Conway; Reid Hoffman, Marc Andressen along with Venky Harinarayan (of Cambrian ventures) and David Sze (of Greylock).

Wink is not alone in taking on Google. Of course, there are others like Activeweave, Jookster, Kaboodle, and Rollyo which are taking “human cycles” and trying to come-up with better results than Google.

Yahoo’s MyWeb effort, so eloquently detailed by Erick Schonfeld in Business 2.0, and its recent acquisition of Del.icio.us are part of this “people versus Google” movement.

I am not so optimistic about this trend, because I have not seen the mainstreams get interested in the bookmarking and tagging as yet. Believers can take comfort in the fact, that it is early days, but I am not so sure. I think it needs a behavioral change on part of “searchers” who have become accustomed to simply typing their queries and then trying to figure out where to go. Sort of like bad cell phone coverage : we go used to it.

Of course, conspiracy theorist like me often wonders, what if search not only became good, but great and accurate. A lot of “spare page views” generated by hit-and-miss model of today can drastically reduce page views, and advertising opportunities. Of course that would be horrible for Google….

Back to Wink…. I am going to test out their offering once they go live, and update the post. You can of course contribute your thoughts.

106 Comments

Jockel

In 2007 we find out that two of these engines are really gaining market share and somewhere in Redmond a bald old man is seen swearing at his employees “I am going to fucking KILL…” and tossing chairs at them.

Craig

I assume one of the next bigger steps of google will be a geo-search-engine when google combines the search-engine with google-earth. it might become combined with wlan, gps, umts, blueberry.. think it will be quite an attractive plattform for local stores and restaurants. but i would like to silently point out that google always mines the data they recieve from their customers in order to sell marketing-data.

i read about a project offering geo-bookmarks (with gps), where people can write about the places they actually are and read from people that were there before. like a guestbook.

Jobe

Like bookmarks, clipmarks can be created solely for private use or for social purposes. The difference, of course, is that with clipmarks, people are able to see the information that has been clipped and then decide whether they want to click the source link to find more information.

Maria

You will see what happened maybe google will get bigger and bigger in difference to other search machines

Andrea

best is to make always sure that you have different ways of looking for searchmachines so which script is the last one

Doro

that can mean they play always different scrips inside so that it change all days

Ludmila

so i see sometimes that google works not correct with bookmarks and links what can that mean

maggy

By integrating analysis of user input – and tags/bookmarks are just one method, albeit a growing phenomenon – with other relevance techniques we tease out the best results we can find. Both Xen and Michael have correctly pointed out you have to do much more than do a string compare across tags and hope that people use the same tag terms. There is also a distinction between people bookmarking sites they want to keep around and rating results as a passing observation. There are many other factors we try to consider. People have generally been posting that they like the results they are finding so far.

Shaila

Thanks for bringing this subject up Om. As the founder of Seekum this subject area interests me very much. As Xen pointed out what one finds interesting others may not, but I believe that things like tag density, and user votes will overcome this issues as more people are involved. I agree that not everyone is going to be tagging pages, or especially bookmarking pages in the sense that Wink needs them to be bookmarked. Wink needs users to bookmark practically every page they go to. To me I am still stuck with a “Favorites” mentality sugesting that I only bookmark sites that I would go back to or even worse really like compared to similar pages

Sarah

I can’t understand the publicity of and around the search engine google. I think soon or later the power of yahoo comes back.

Nadine

Like bookmarks, clipmarks can be created solely for private use or for social purposes. The difference, of course, is that with clipmarks, people are able to see the information that has been clipped and then decide whether they want to click the source link to find more information.

Jim

Wouldn’t it be silly to assume Google don’t track user behaviour in some form? One one would be to see which links on a result page get the most hits for each keyword combination.

Adrian

well, there is a rumor, some people believe that a Chinese search engine will beat google soon or later. because they can hire thousand of people to tagging and searching meaning information through the Internet instead of crawler, and that will be much better than any other algorithm so far.
the brain of thousands of people! that’s the real intelligence, LOL!

Dave Johnson » Blog Archive » More on Wink and Tag Search

[…] I have posted on various issues regarding tag based search before and there was good discussion on a recent(ish) post by Om Malik entitled People Power vs Google. The new problem I envision is that when you are searching for something that is syntactically the same but semantically different from concepts which you or other people have tagged, then the results will be skewed in the wrong direction. It is a very good idea on Wink’s part to put Google search results on the same page. […]

David

I’ve written a 4-part posting on the topic of Yahoo and MSN v. Google. You can see it at blogation.blogspot.com. Part three talks about del.icio.us and Flickr. I’d love to hear comments from folks.

Technology Evangelist

The Myth of People Power Vs Google

The “people vs Google” argument concept bugs me because it ignores the main factor that makes Google Google: link popularity generated by people.

Shrikant Joshi

Interesting. Haven’t tried out Wink yet. Am using StumbleUpon.

I am impressed by the Stumble feature which allows you to ‘stumble upon’ random pages (depending on your choice of interests) ‘tagged’ by others … The firefox extension makes it all the more better.

Wink seems to be a Web2.0 version of StumbleUpon. And SU beats del.icio.us with its quick Like-it-and-don’t-like-it buttons… unlike tags opening in pop-ups. I think I’ll stick to SU, though I will definitely try Wink out…

So, does people power involve startups and acquisitions by heavy-weights (Wink, del.icio.us, etc.) only or does it also include welterweights like SU?

Shrikant

NOTE: I am no way related to SU, I just like the service…

franck

I think one characteristic of Google is its ambition. They always try to tackle very difficult problems. And their approach which actually consists in automatically tagging the web is clearly the way forward.

Obviously you get satifactory results by having power users tag the web content as evidence with successes like del.icio.us. In pretty much the same way you used to have satisfactory results by having a group of experts catalog the web (Yahoo! version 1). But the holy grail is do that for all content without forcing people to tag anything.

And this what Google is trying to do. They have just started and experiments like Google Music or Google Movies are showing great promise.

At the end of the day, however, we should remember that Google has an advantage: they can index users’s tag and as they become popular and make them play a more and more important part in their semantic web ranking. They can leverage any ontology. Either way they win!

wsjoung

well, there is a rumor, some people believe that a Chinese search engine will beat google soon or later. because they can hire thousand of people to tagging and searching meaning information through the Internet instead of crawler, and that will be much better than any other algorithm so far.
the brain of thousands of people! that’s the real intelligence, LOL!

Comments are closed.