Saturday, January 27, 2007

Google vertical search help us reach the long tail

I have noticed lately how everyone is on this vertical search engine kick for the last year or so. Then people got so excited when Jimmy Wales announced his intentions to jump into the search game. His slant would be a Social Search platform which would be inherently better than Google's.

I guess people are forgetting that Google has their own answer to vertical search it's Google CSE/Coop . They have disclosed that their in a recent Business 2.0 article that there are 100,000 CSE's built now and expect over 300,000 by April. I believe that they will use this data to develop a social search algorithm to integrate into their ranking based algorithm.

The obvious problem is how do these CSE get any traction? We know that viral marketing is the great buzz word everyone likes to throw around but how can this be accomplished by niche experts w/ little or no money to advertise and brand their product.

This is a quote from Peter Norvig Google's Director of Search

Me: Is SearchMash a Google wiki-styled search engine? If so, what is the goal of this new product?

Norvig: That's our playground for trying out new ideas -- of all kinds -- in a non-branded search engine where we are more free to experiment with different algorithms and user interfaces. It is useful because we don't have to adhere to the user's expectations for what Google is. It does include " Feedback: Were these results useful to you? ..." but it is not exclusively social/wiki-style; it is for anything we want to try out.

Me: So, are you testing out a wiki-styled search engine?

Norvig: Feedback from users is important, and we will continue to use the sources of user feedback we have been using, and will experiment with more in the future. I think that Google Co-op Custom Search Engine may be the largest current collection of user-generated information for search.

From Bambi Francisco

Here some suggestions already out there.

1. You can create plug in's via Firefox etc.
2. Build very robust back links
3. Get Organic!! Natural Search

My Suggestions:
I. Google should reward CSE's in Google Rankings by offering a link to CSE's that cover the query entered.
II. If someone Googled "GSR Brake swap" it would have a refinement link to CSE's for Honda's .
III. Google should subsidize Adwords for CSE owners this article suggests that smaller more relevant micro sites do much better for advertisers. Google gets a cut of it anyway this will only help them in the long run. This would also be a great strategic move for Google in the future w/ their expansion: checkout/analytics/adwords into a CPA (Cost Per Action) model.

My .02

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