Let's get one thing on the table. Google's brilliant. Larry Page and Sergey Brin came up with a genius idea and executed it well. I can't wait to see others trying to muscle in when their patent expires in 2011. However, the aggregator sites seriously obstruct the search results in many cases.
I'm doing a simple and quick search engine optimisation exercise for a legitimate traditional small business in a small UK town. When I enter the town and the nature of the business into Google, the first actual business returned isn't until page 3 of the returns. The rest are aggregators. Now, if a listing adds some value, then I don't have a problem, but they seem to solely exist to extract money from the likes of my client. Google seems to have overcome any possible ethical problem with tampering with results, so I wonder how much of an effort it would be or whether there would be legal consequences from disrupting the aggregators' business.
It leaves me wondering where Autonomy are with their Baysian search engine. They have their IDOL search product, but aren't really there in the consumer web domain. It could be really handy at times like this to have something which 'understands' context. Although I guess as soon as people know the rules, they apply them to their own ends.
Tags: technology, IT, Internet, search, Google