Social Search: The new frontier

One of my colleagues in a presentation remarked – that the problem these days is not about lack of information, it is about visibility of that information! These days the sheer volumes of information has reached such an extent that one cannot make out the differences between relevant and irrelevant. How many times have you clicked “I’m Feeling Lucky” button on Google in the past month? The answer is zero for me.

The way Google has chosen to solve that problem is idiotic at best – they let you indicate the relevance of the search result for that particular term (you have to be logged in to your Google Account and search for checking this feature out). The problem with this solution is that I still have to search for the solution which is most relevant to me. Visibility of the most relevant solution is an issue. What would have been great, if Google could have taken the relevance out of my social circle (read Google Contacts) and shown my contact’s relevance to me as well!! So my social circle is defining the context of the search and they are doing the search for me; not Google.

Social search, is what I am talking about. The new paradigm now is not to show all the possible searches – nobody has time to go through 567,198 results, show me what is relevant to me. Know thy customer. Take an application like Twitter and Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck lets me set search through the Twitter community, that way, the relevance and context comes out through the users. That is the way of the future – we used to talk about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but now it should be Social Media Visibility (SMV).

  • The Big K

    Mark my words. We’re giving Google more information than we should. My ex-colleagues had laughed at me when I said Google’s monopoly can hurt us some day.

    Think of this – Google knows everything about you. It knows about your friends/whereabouts/your job applications/your family/your bank statements…

    Social media visibility is important. But users should have control over the information; in current situation, they don’t.

  • Prasad

    Ummm .. Biggie, care to explain that thought?

  • Gags

    Dude…let me know if you are aware of any good SEO specialists (companies or freelancers) who may be able to help. Right now am struggling with the visibility of our site. Need a reasonable cost solution…

    Plus of course, more insights are welcome…

    cheers,
    Gaurav

  • Prasad

    @Gags – hey thanks for the visit on the site and the comment. Have sent you a detailed mail. Check it out and let me know if you require any further inputs.

  • Salil

    Hi,
    I tend to agree with Big K here. And I will not be surprised if there are soon restrictions on the the information and content on the web.
    Just my two cents.
    Cheers,
    Salil
    PS : The ignorant (therefore blissful) me not heard about the concept of SMV till now :-(

  • Sushrut Bidwai

    More than visibility, I think visibility of right content is more important. These days I see lot of so called social media experts collecting what people tweeted in an article and using that to generate traffic and visibility. Once you are not in first page of Google, you dont exist at all.
    There needs to some kind of data co-relation and management to exist. Which can effectively filter out noise, pseudo-noise, information, gathered information separately.
    Even if you, for example take techcrunch comments section, for a popular post it receives about 1K comments. As a reader I will not be going through all of them, but only first 1 or max 5 of them. (I am busy afterall). So there is definitely a void for a tool which is intelligent enough to filter.
    And you know what? I know one person who is exactly building the same! Watch out for it in next 4 months or so.

  • Prasad

    @Salil – I know that, I coined the term :-), so no issues if you havent heard :-D

    @Sushrut – Are you talking about wolframalpha.com? Its beta is already out!

  • Sushrut Bidwai

    @Prasad

    No not wolfra alpha. And I dont think it is solving the same problem. But there is a single person startup operating out of Pune which is building a tool which can do few things (magic) with the heaps of data. Cant say more :(

  • the big k

    @Kidakaka: Alrighty. Here it goes –

    Google's good at searching the data and over the years it's become the door to the Internet. However, it's also forayed into other businesses that essentially deal with user data.

    Google's successful because it offers cool services for free and everyone loves free stuff. Everyone loves Google and it's lead to its monopoly in search business.

    Google controls over 60% of online advertising business. But you know what, it's taking over the control of everything!

    Google knows what you search for, what your inbox contains, (through orkut) it knows who your friends are, where are you logged in from, what's your favorite food – just everything.

    If the trend continues, Google will become the 'owner' of the Internet (big words?). Few days ago, Gmail suffered downtime and it affected lots and lots of users! If its APPS service goes down, I can't imagine how many businesses will suffer.

    Monoploy is BAD! Google's control o ver online advertising is threatening. Google kicks out anyone without having to show any reasons from the adsense program. No one can say a damn about it. Google rules.

    But we, as normal users, don't care or complain. Because they (GOOG) give us everything for free and our job gets done. But when they gain absolute power & control – they'll command the things. WHich is going to hurt us, badly.

  • maxmayur

    Looks like the new order has come. The battle to control the middle earth is hotting up. The last alliance of men must stand up and fight against the GOOGevil

    :-)

    Go Big K Go!

  • Prasad

    @Biggie – People use Google’s services because it is free. Yes. While that might be true, but Google clearly says that in the EULA (yes, I had to read through it before i put my organization on the Apps). Later on when the criticality of the mails went up, we moved onto a paid mail platform – RediffmailPro. So, you really cant blame Google for that, blame the people!! Google are in a monopoly because no one else is able to best them – either in terms of first-mover-advantage or in terms of the product itself. Some of their products are actually that good!! Monopoly as a concept is not bad, its the exploitation of that concept which is bad. So if Google takes over the internet and improves it, I dont mind it. If they make me pay for it, then I will make a loud ruckus!!