Maybe search doesn't matter...maybe it does

Summary:Echoing his well known and much discussed and vilified "Harvard Business Review" essay "IT Doesn't Matter," Nick Carr writes at the end of a post on the commoditization of search that "maybe search doesn't matter." Nick posits that search from the big three isn't very differentiated, nor is it a major barrier to switching from one search engine to another.

Echoing his well known and much discussed and vilified "Harvard Business Review" essay "IT Doesn't Matter," Nick Carr writes at the end of a post on the commoditization of search that "maybe search doesn't matter." Nick posits that search from the big three isn't very differentiated, nor is it a major barrier to switching from one search engine to another. He's right that the race for the ultiimate search engine seems to be moving in slow motion, and there is more perceived parity in what Google, Yahoo and Microsoft (as well as Amazon A9 and others) offer to the typical (never uses advanced search) user. And, the big three are much more focused on building out portals/destination sites with a variety of services and personalization features to keep users in the fold.

But, Nick is premature--actually just provocative--in suggesting the 'search doesn't matter.' In fact, search matters far more today, simply because it is so unsatisfying. At a time when the amount of information, media types and bandwidth are increasing, search engines still return thousand of results instead of answers. Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are fighting over high IQ search engineering talent, and all have stated that making search engine breakthroughs is a top priority. It underpins all of the convenience, context and precision that users want in their digital experiences. The reality is that search will appear at time to be more of a commodity until the next cylcle of innovation resets expectations...

Topics: Browser

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