Is The Google Search Engine On Its Way Out?

Google recently celebrated its ten year anniversary recently and over the last couple of years we have seen its meteroric rise from a university research project to one of the world's most successful companies. However I have a slightly differing perspective (as always!) to the norm with respect to the search engine.

People are now so used to 'Googling' things that it has now become second nature. Google has become an almost indispensible lifestyle and business tool with people using it buy products and services as well as research and general surfing. Having said this the evolution of IT and Web Technology is very quick. History has taught us that the rules of the game change often.

Google's income mostly comes from its innovative non-intrusive advertising techniques. These have worked very well so far but I must say that I for one pay little or no attention to sponsored links whether they are on the top or on the side. I do not think I am alone. As people get more and more accustomed to Google and they will start to ignore all the irrelevant information. They will have to because there is so much rubbish out on the net it is unbelievable. Companies may find that there pay-per-click and other advertising may become less effective on Google.

However, this is not the only strategy employed to get positive exposure on Google. Research shows that statistically people most of the time only look at the first three search engine results. This has given rise to a whole specific industry who's sole purpose is to get your company to the top spot of Google. The process is called Search Engine Optimisation. These companies streamline your website with related keywords (search terms that be picked up by Google) and generally create more links to their site from other sites to increase your Google ranking. There are other strategies involved in SEO too and everyone seems to be obsessing about it at the moment. Competition is fierce for the top spots and there are lot of SEO companies cashing in on this at the moment.

My problem with this if everyone is doing this I feel it may undermine the integrity search engine process as whole. If you are search for stuff and all you get is rubbish and websites trying to sell you things you may soon get sick of the search engine and lose trust in it. This is something that Google should be paying attention to as at the moment they are one of the most trusted and liked brands out there but it could all change so quickly! It also seems to assume that Google is the ultimate internet authority. It is certainly one of them now but may not be for ever as IT world moves very quickly. The question is will these companies, who rely on SEO in Google, be able to adapt when the game changes (which it inevitably will). I think many of them would be left behind if other search engines were to become more popular. Different search engines use different techniques to crawl the net so what works for Google will not be as effective in other ones. Companies offering SEO will also have to adapt very significantly or enjoy their current success while it lasts.

There are new search engines appearing now and the older ones like Altavista and Yahoo may soon catch up with Google in time. Resently some ex-Google employees set up a search engine called Cuil which has a more magazine like interface. I have to say I really like Cuil too.

However, it does not end there. Google offer other services like Gmail, Google Maps, Google Earth, along with a whole manner of others which are fantastic and very versatile. They now also own YouTube and will pounce on the next big thing I am sure! Then again the popularity of Facebook shows that other companies are on the rise too.

Maybe Google have realised that their days may be numbered as the top search engine and have branched out into other areas. However, Google's search engine is still central to its reputation and other services will to a greater extent rely on its continued success.

Oh Gosh! I have just realised Google actually also own the company who host this blog! I love you Google honest I do! :-)