Google's Udi Manber on Google-Killing Search Engines: Forget About It

Google’s search guru Udi Manber emerged for an interview with Popular Mechanics. PM didn’t ask Udi dead-on what he thought of Powerset, Hakia, Cuill, and the dozens of other start-up search engines that are trash-talking the state of search (namely, Google) and promising a quantum leap. But he did answer the question obliquely:

What makes Google philosophically different from all the other search engines? What is Google searching for that others aren’t?

I don’t think it’s about philosophy. It’s about getting people what they need, and about getting the results to be as accurate and fast as possible. We’re innovating, and concentrating just on the relevancy of results. Last year we made over 450 improvements to the algorithm.

Is it possible that a new type of search could emerge that’s based on social networking, or does that type of thing fold naturally into existing search?

I think it folds naturally. It’s just a matter of more signals.

Translation: Google’s not sitting still, people. (Addendum: if you do come up with something impressive, we’ll buy you.)

By the way, the flaw in the logic of most of the Google-killing search engines is that today’s search usually works just fine. Most people don’t want to type “natural language questions” into search boxes (even if the engine could handle them) because typing keywords is more convenient. And for most searches, today’s search is good enough that you find what you’re looking for with minimal effort.

See Also:
Search Engine Cuill Raises $25 Million, Prepares To Attack Google
The Problem for Hakia and Other Google-Killing Search Engines

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