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Social Search: Could It Be a Google Killer?

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This morning I typed into Google the search term: VoIP (which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol) and I got 64 Million responses. 64 Million!! How archaic is that?

Does Google have any idea how long would it take me to go through 64 Million responses? One day we are going to look back at the days of searching and getting 64 Million responses to anything and equate that to a Commodore 64 or Betamax tape.
I know, I know the point is Google is trying to bring me the best responses to the term in the first few pages (if not the first page). But the best responses according to who? Why don't they know I work at Avaya (who sells products and services in the VoIP space) and therefore I most likely have a very different mission in typing in VoIP?
Microsoft just launched Bing a new search service which is supposed to rival that of Google. To me it looks like Google but in a new wrapper with a few enhancements. This post is not an indictment of Bing, my point is they didn't take it far enough.
Someone can (and will) connect search to my social profile (say on Facebook) thereby making a truly intelligent search engine that will know where I work, and who my friends are. Then when I Google a term like VoIP .... it will know I work for Avaya, it will know my friends and can present me with a way to filter the web based on my social profile .... call it Social Search.
Then I will be able to narrow down a search for VoIP down in seconds based on the company I work for, members of my marketing team, friends I have in my network and get a completely different view of the internet that I can't get now.
24 months from now Social Search should be common place .... we should see social tools like Facebook Connect or OpenID which are already out there, used for search. I feel everyone wants to make the search market more competitive (right now Google has 87% of the US marketing and 90% of the European market) so perhaps Yahoo or AOL can revive their search business by going Social!
For more ideas like this please check out my latest eBook called 7 Ways Facebook will Change your Life!

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Paul Dunay is director of global field and interactive marketing for Bearing Point (

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  • by Matthew T. Grant Tue Jun 30, 2009 via blog

    As I keep telling people, Google search results reflect the SEO efforts of the companies that appear on page one, not the relevance of the information to you the searcher. By contrast, Twitter search can give you more real-time and granular results because they are based on what people are talking about right now. Twitter search is not as "smart" as the search-of-the-future you describe, but it is already, for many uses, a viable option to Google.

  • by Paul Dunay Tue Jun 30, 2009 via blog

    @ Matt - well said I like how you characterize search results as the net effect of SEO efforts we certainly have desire around more real time search and Twitter search delivers on that hopefully we will see more innovation in the search space soon

  • by cafedave Tue Jun 30, 2009 via blog

    Sounds like a great innovation: I'd only ever taken the total number of search results as an indicator that (a) I was going to find what I was looking for somewhere on the internet or (b) my spelling of the search term was correct. My hesitation with social search as you've described it is that it would narrow the results that are available: the brilliance of internet searching is that you come across results that your peer group or social contacts may never have thought to suggest or recommend. I see social search as an augment to current search, but not as a replacement.

  • by Harry Hallman Wed Jul 1, 2009 via blog

    Perhaps you should add qualifiers to your search string. When you use one word searches, something most people don't do, you get every mention of that word. In this case VoIP. Buy adding the word Free and USA it drops to 1.8 million. As you keep adding words to the string you get better results. Also, using advanced search helps you reduce the numbers. I have to say it is better than trying t o do your research in a library. Still I understand your pain. That is why I suggested PPC ads on search engines. There are just so many pages of information on the Internet that it is becoming harder and harder to appear on the first few pages of a search. As for Twitter, it may provide a good basic barometer on what people are interested in, but it is not a viable information source for getting details. Sill it has its value.

  • by Strategic management Wed Jul 1, 2009 via blog

    The next frontier in search is going to be a personal one. People will stop believing in article information because it's more than enough with varying contents. People will search experts instead of information. I believe the expertise will have to be free.

  • by Sreeraman M.G Fri Jul 3, 2009 via blog

    Well I would be rather uncomfortable if the search engines knows where I go, what I do and who my friends. I mean that's too much information......

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