John Battelle: Beating Google means changing the definition of search
At the Blog Business Summit in October 2006, John Battelle pointed out that search is in the “command-line” phase of user interfaces. Search is in DOS mode still, and we have yet to reach Windows.
In an interview today on i-media connection he says that the biggest surprise to him in search is that we are still in the same place:
Joe Kutchera: What is the most significant change we’ve seen in search since you wrote “The Search”?
John Battelle: The complete failure of any other company to gain significant share against Google.
Not only has Google continued to dominate search, but search has not really changed much in terms of what it means.
Battelle thinks—and I agree—that Google’s dominance will continue until we reach a point where current search is supplanted with something drastically different in terms of how the user interacts with it:
The big change will be a redefinition of search to a new, more useful result. In other words, the shift from DOS to Windows — that kind of shift, metaphorically, applied to search.
Microsoft is looking the wrong way if they’re only trying to increase the quality of their search results. Google search results show 70% spam and people still use it more than any other engine. It’s not about what you find, it’s about how you find it.